Dodgers: This trade package could land Reds’ Luis Castillo after down year

Thomas Carannante
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 26: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Minnesota Twins on September 26, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 26: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Minnesota Twins on September 26, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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With the returns of Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer uncertain — plus Dustin May’s debut to likely occur toward the middle of 2022, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a lot of heavy lifting to do this offseason.

At the very least, you’d think one of those first three names will be back and ready to go on Opening Day. Even if two are in the rotation for next year, it still won’t be enough given the considerable uncertainties.

Was Scherzer’s “dead arm” a sign of things to come as he enters his age-38 campaign? What’s going on with Kershaw’s elbow? Are Walker Buehler and Julio Urías going to struggle out of the gate after being overused in 2021?

That’s why the front office needs to conduct more patchwork in the form of other signings or trades. Luckily for Andrew Friedman, one desirable option may have just hit the market.

Dodgers Rumors: This trade package for Reds starter Luis Castillo could work

If Cincinnati intends to enter a full rebuild by trading starter Luis Castillo after Nick Castellanos opted out of his contract, the Dodgers would be a perfect landing spot. By padding him in a rotation surrounded by other capable, productive arms and removing the burden of being the staff ace, LA could witness a resurgence from the talented right-hander.

He had a down year in 2021, going 8-16 (led the league in losses) with a 3.98 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and only 192 strikeouts in 187.2 innings despite making 33 starts. That’s not “good” when you consider who Castillo is supposed to be. This is a guy who was an All-Star in 2019 and helped lead the Reds to the playoffs during the shortened 2020.

Considering all those factors, however, what’ll it cost to acquire the 28-year-old, who is under team control for another two years? Let’s see what we can come up with.

Hypothetical Dodgers-Reds trade for Luis Castillo:

  • Dodgers receive: SP Luis Castillo
  • Reds receive: 2B/SS/OF Gavin Lux and RHP Andre Jackson

If you remember correctly, rumors surfaced last offseason linking Castillo to the New York Yankees, and the Reds reportedly asked for “shortstop” Gleyber Torres, clearly indicating they want a youthful/potential franchise cornerstone option at that position. Lux could be a sensible candidate here for a number of reasons.

He hasn’t exactly made strides since debuting with the Dodgers and has been blocked at shortstop because of Corey Seager’s presence. If Seager stays, the two middle infield positions are booked with him and Trea Turner, meaning Lux is going to play outfield? After he was eviscerated by the fan base for a few misplays in center during the playoffs? If Seager leaves, Turner will shift over to short and Lux will continue playing out of position at second base. If the Dodgers firmly believed in Lux, there would’ve been little reason to trade for Turner at the deadline and upend their plans for the next year.

At the end of the day, Lux has value, and even more so away from the Dodgers. Throw in right-hander Andre Jackson to appease the Reds’ need for a capable young starter, and you could have a deal.

How would you amend this if you don’t think it’s good enough to convince the Reds OR if you feel this is too much to surrender?

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