Are the Jays in on Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo?
MLB News Network, an unversified account with more than 8,000 followers, says that the Blue Jays, along with other contenders, are in on the 29-year-old righty. Is this a great source? Probably not, but whatever, let’s lean into it. 
This season, Castillo has posted a 3.71 ERA and 3.45 FIP in 51 innings pitched and has been the Reds’ best starter up to this point. Furthermore, he has a K% of 22.9 (or a K/9 of 8.65) and a BB% of 8.4%, (or a BB/9 of 3.18).
Interestingly, his career ERA sits at 3.71 in 758.1 innings, but his FIP is below his career average of 3.74. Interestingly, his K/9 of 8.65 is a career low, as his career totals for that stat sit at 9.72. 
Looking back to his career year in the lockout-shortened 2020 season, Castillo had a 3.21 ERA and 2.65 FIP in 70 innings pitched. His K/9 sat at a career high of 11.44 and BB/9 at 3.09, leading to a fWAR of 2.4 (his career high came in 2019 at 4.2).
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Per Baseball Savant, Castillo’s four seam fastball averages 96.5 mph and he throws it 23.6% of the time. He also throws a sinker, which hits 96.4 mph and which he throws 26% of the time.
He also features a changeup, which averages 88.2 mph which he throws 28.7% of the time, the most for any pitch. His one breaking pitch is a slider, which sits at an incredible 86.6 mph and which he throws 21.7% of the time.
Lastly, let’s look at his contract. This season, Luis Castillo is making $7,350,000 and will have another season of arbitration. He’ll reach free agency come 2024 and he’ll be 31 years old.
Trading for pitchers with control is what the Blue Jays’ front office has done. Last season, they traded Simeon Woods Richardson and Austin Martin for Jose Berrios, a pitcher with similar statistics and a similar contract situation.
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Looking back to 2020, the Jays traded for their “hero we didn’t think we needed”, Ross Stripling, who had two additional years of arbitration remaining.

Speculation time:

I reckon Luis Castillo will fetch a package similar to what Jose Berrios did last season. With an additional year of arbitration, as well as better statistics than Berrios, Luis Castillo would slot in nicely as the Jays’ third starter.
However, perhaps the Jays could acquire other needs in this trade, such as their need for a relief pitcher (Luis Cessa) or a left-handed batting outfielder like Tyler Naquin. In fact, I’ve written an entire article on those players, which you can read here.
With all that being said, I’m not too sure about the validity of the rumour. It is fun to speculate, however, as he’s the type of pitcher (control + solid #3 numbers) the Jays would look to acquire.
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As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I’ll be appearing on Prospects Live’s mock draft on Wednesday, June 29th. You’ll be able to watch on Youtube.

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