Ranking Dodgers’ rumored trade targets ahead of Aug. 2 deadline

Thomas Carannante
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 14: Brandon Drury #22 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by teammate Luis Castillo #58 after Drury fielded a hit by DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees for the out in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium on July 14, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 14: Brandon Drury #22 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by teammate Luis Castillo #58 after Drury fielded a hit by DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees for the out in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium on July 14, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Dodgers
Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

2. Luis Castillo

Andrew Heaney might be returning and Dustin May might be going on a rehab assignment, but is that really enough for the Dodgers to rip through October? Most realistic fans would vote “no” on that.

There are other question marks, too. Will Clayton Kershaw hold up for the remainder of the year after dealing with so many injuries the last few years? Will Walker Buehler be able to return and be as effective as fans are used to him being? Is Tony Gonsolin an actual reliable arm to use as a starter in a postseason game? Might Tyler Anderson be more effective out of the bullpen come October?

That’s where the potential need for Luis Castillo comes in. The Reds’ right-hander would give the Dodgers insurance in the event one of Kershaw/Buehler can’t be their usual ace selves and also allows manager Dave Roberts to take pressure off every other arm.

Castillo might be the most sought-after arm on the market (because he’s also controllable through 2023), but he’s worth the price. He offers elite No. 2 starter production at a cost-effective price (less than $3.5 million this year post-trade and then ~$10 million in 2023) and provides the rotation with another true impact arm in a playoff series.

Are Gonsolin, Anderson and Heaney assets? Absolutely. Would you trust one of them to take the mound in Game 4 of a playoff series with the Dodgers trailing 2-1? No, you simply would not. Having Urías in that spot, assuming Buehler returns and can be effective, is the true “contender” move. Adding Castillo does exactly that, and the price shouldn’t really matter given the immediate need.

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