The Los Angeles Dodgers are always a team to watch during the trade deadline with nearly unlimited funds and a farm system that keeps on giving. The trade market this year is not as hot as in previous years, but there is one big-name pitcher that some fans are clamoring for: Luis Castillo.
Castillo has seemingly been on the trade market since the offseason and the Cincinnati Reds would benefit more from dealing the savvy right-handed pitcher. His contract runs through the 2023 season, and if the Reds want to maximize the return for Castillo, now is the time to trade him.
The Dodgers and Reds are no strangers to working out trades, and the two sides have reportedly connected about Castillo already.
Castillo would bolster an already-deep starting rotation that leads MLB in ERA and is set to get back Walker Buehler, Andrew Heaney and Dustin May at some point in the season. It is easy to argue that the Dodgers don’t need Castillo, especially if he comes at a premium. But that raises the question:
Just how much would a Luis Castillo trade cost for the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Luckily for the Dodgers, there is a very comparable trade from the 2021 season that the team can look back on. The Minnesota Twins traded Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays at the deadline. Berrios, like Castillo, had another season under contract after the 2021 season. Toronto decided not to wait and extended him before the 2022 season began.
The cost for Berrios was prospects Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson, both of whom were top-100 prospects at the time. Martin was the 16th-ranked prospect in baseball and Woods-Richardson was the 68th-ranked prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline.
Castillo would likely cost even more. Not only is Castillo a better pitcher with better stats than Berrios, but the market is much worse this year than last year. Berrios was not even the biggest pitcher moved last year. Castillo likely will be the biggest, and second place might be far behind.
The starting price for Castillo is likely two top-100 prospects, with even more being attached, as the Dodgers would have to outbid other teams. Thus, the following package would likely be the going price for Castillo if the Dodgers were to complete the trade:
This might seem like a no-brainer for some who do not have a grip on the Dodgers’ farm system, but this is a lot to send for Castillo when the pitching staff is already deep. In this package, the Dodgers would be traded their highest-ranked starting pitcher in Bobby Miller (No. 26), their highest-ranked outfielder in Andy Pages (No. 47) and the team’s eighth-ranked prospect in Eddys Leonard.
Cincinnati would be getting two top-end prospects as well as another highly-regarded prospect who has been producing well in the minor leagues. Sure, the Dodgers avoid trading Diego Cartaya, but the cost would still be quite hefty.
And this is just the baseline offer. Other teams could come over the top on this package, forcing the Dodgers to potentially trade even more for Castillo.
Yes, the Angels are a bad team in need of a change, but this proposed Shohei Ohtani trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers is actually insane.
It would be shocking to see the Dodgers make this kind of trade for Castillo, considering the team’s strength this season is pitching and there are going to be far more desperate teams willing to trade more.