I find it hard to believe that there will be a better starting pitcher available on the market than Luis Castillo.
With only a week and a half to go before the trade deadline, rumours are ramping up about who the Jays could be looking to acquire.
According to this tweet here, TSN’s Steve Phillips says that he thinks the Jays will be the landing spot for the right handed pitcher.
Following that rumour, The Athletic released an article titled “Luis Castillo’s trade value: Nine proposed deals for the Reds’ right-hander”, where numerous writers covering different teams gave hypothetical trades. Then Keith Law gave his opinion on whether or not the Reds would accept this.
Kaitlyn McGrath proposed Toronto trade, which looked like this:
Toronto sends:
SS Jordan Groshans
RHP Yosver Zulueta
Cincinnati sends:
RHP Luis Castillo
Here’s Law’s verdict and his reasoning behind it:
“Fairly sure the reds would do this, with Zulueta emerging as a potential starter now that he’s fully healthy.”
In my opinion, if the Reds would accept this, you have to do it immediately.
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Groshans will be an MiLB player, but at this point in his career, he has yet to show game power (despite having quite a bit of raw power.) He’s only 22-years-old and still has room to develop, but with Bo Bichette at shortstop and a litany of other shortstops in the minors, the Jays can afford to do this.
Furthermore, it’d also give Groshans an easier pathway to the majors.
The second piece of this trade I’m less enthused about. Yosver Zulueta has emerged on the scene as one of the better pitching prospects in the organization. He hits 100 mph with ease, and his breaking stuff, especially his slider, has really improved. Add in a 50+ grade changeup, and you have a pretty darn good prospect.
Zulueta has pitched at three levels in 2022 and has had success at all three of them. Currently with the Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, he has posted a 4.76 ERA and a 2.91 FIP in just 5.2 innings pitched. While his BB/9 is on the high side at 6.35, he has a rather impressive K/9 of 14.29.
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The largest sample size we’ve seen Zulueta in is in High A Vancouver, where he posted a 3.80 ERA and a 3.15 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched. He had a K/9 of 11.79 and a BB/9 of 4.18. It’d suck to lose him, especially since he’ll be MLB ready next season, but you’d be getting Luis Castillo.
This season, the 29-year-old righty has a 2.77 ERA and a 3.03 FIP in 78 innings pitched. That includes a K/9 of 9.46 and a BB/9 of 3.12, all leading to an fWAR of 2.1.
Not just that, but he only makes $7,350,000 in 2022 and will have an additional year of arbitration in 2023. That means he won’t become a free agent until the 2024 season, giving a team at least two playoffs to go for the title.
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Will it happen?:

Firstly, I don’t think the Reds would accept this deal. There will be many teams after the 29-year-old righty, and I don’t believe the Jays offer enough with this specific.
The other issue I see is that I don’t believe the Jays will trade for a middle of the rotation (or #2 pitcher) at this deadline. They currently have three very good front line starters in Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, and Ross Stripling.
Once you factor in a non crappy Berrios, all they really need to do is add a back end of the rotation starter. What about a guy like Martin Perez, who’ll cost you significantly less in terms of prospects, while putting up similar numbers to Castillo?
I’ll stand pat in saying that I don’t believe the Jays will make a huge splash, instead they’ll add help to the back of their rotation, their bullpen, and perhaps add a left handed batting outfielder (say Ian Happ).
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Either way, I’m incredibly excited for the August 2nd deadline, because I think the Jays are going to look real strong.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Again, I think Martin Perez is the way to go, but I’d find it hard to complain if the Jays do land Castillo.

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