Does It Make Sense for Dodgers to Acquire Luis Castillo?

Luis Castillo and the Dodgers seemingly have been linked to each other for the past three seasons. Castillo is a hot commodity on this year’s trade block, and he is undoubtedly approaching his last days as a Cincinnati Red.

Many contenders are interested in the 29-year-old right-handed pitcher. Per Jon Morosi, the Dodgers and Reds have had preliminary talks about Castillo. There is plenty of time to go until the August 2 trade deadline, but the Dodgers have clearly expressed genuine interest.

Castillo was named an All-Star this season, the second time in his career. In 71 innings, he’s posted a 2.92 ERA throughout 12 starts. He’s also struck out 74 batters, and when he’s really in a zone, he can rack up strikeouts. His career-high in strikeouts is 13 in one game.

Most importantly, Castillo will not be a free agent after this season. He is arbitration-eligible for the 2023 season and is currently making $7 million for the 2022 campaign. As we know, the Dodgers trading for Trea Turner and Max Scherzer last season was huge as Turner still had another year under team control.

Now, Turner’s the starting shortstop for the National League in the All-Star Game. So, Castillo having another year of team control changes everything, as he won’t be a rental for any contender.

The possible return package the Reds would like for Castillo hasn’t been reported. However, the Reds and Dodgers have pulled off some big trades in the past, most notably trading away Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Kyle Farmer, and Alex Wood to the for Josiah Gray, Jeter Downs, and Homer Bailey. While Bailey never made an appearance for the Dodgers, Gray and Downs were huge pieces in deals that the Dodgers pulled off for Scherzer, Turner, and Mookie Betts.

Without Castillo, the Dodgers already have the lowest team ERA in the MLB at 2.97. So do they need him? All season, the Dodgers have relied on unlikely candidates to keep the rotation afloat. Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin have had stellar seasons, while veteran Clayton Kershaw is still going strong and has made yet another All-Star Game. Not to forget that the Dodgers still have Julio Urias.

While Walker Buehler, Andrew Heaney, and Dustin May all remain on the injured list, the Dodgers are hoping they all can return later in the season.

The Dodgers also have plenty of arms in their farm system in Ryan Pepiot, Mitch White, Bobby Miller, and Andre Jackson, to name a few. So, does it make sense to trade for Castillo despite all of these arms being available? The thing that has seemingly forced the Dodgers to make big trades in the past has been injuries.

When Corey Seager went down, the team traded for Manny Machado; when Kershaw struggled with injuries last year, the team traded for Scherzer; just this season, when Betts was placed on the injured list with cracked ribs, they pulled off a trade for Trayce Thompson. All of these trades ended up bringing up critical contributors to the Dodgers, so who knows, can Luis Castillo repeat that?

Castillo had a bit of a shoulder problem earlier this season, and has only made one start in the postseason during the shortened 2020 season. However, the Dodgers did see what happened in the last postseason as a grueling NLDS left pitchers fatigued for the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves.

But whatever happens, most Dodger fans trust Andrew Freidman and company to make the right move.

14 thoughts on “Does It Make Sense for Dodgers to Acquire Luis Castillo?

  1. Makes no sense, to trade highly rated prospects unless the Dodgers have determined they will not make the Dodger club in the future. Next year the Dodger rotation, barring injury or trade will be Urias, Buehler, Gonsolin, May and depending on re-signing Kershaw or possibly Anderson. As good as Castillo is does he crack that rotation? In the Minors they have Pepiot, Knack, Stone, Beeter, and other upcoming pitchers. The Dodgers currently have the best ERA rotation in baseball why trade for Castillo? Especially as rumor has it they want very highly rated prospects as they should for a very good pitcher? Of course the fact Castillo had shoulder problems early this year might make him an immediate pick up.

  2. We really have no idea what goes on in the Dodger front office. We love to talk about prospects here and Andrew and friends tend to wax poetic about all of the guys in the top 10 (Dodger top 10, that is).

    Meanwhile, they may have already identified a few of those players that they think won’t ever reach their potential or they feel are overrated by the pundits. Those are the guys they earmark for inclusion in trades to bring back other needs. Yes, once in a while they have to deal players they love (Ruiz/Gray for example), but look what they got back for them.

    It’s in the Dodgers’ best interest to push public opinion upward on all of their better prospects, even the ones they might not really believe in. And we’ll likely never know which ones are which.

  3. I wouldn’t do it unless the price was right. Let’s face it, some of these Dodger prospects are never going to see the majors in Dodger blue. It happens all the time. Quick, name one guy in the system who could crack this lineup? Of course many will say almost anyone could replace Muncy and be better. But is that a certainty? No. You might find a player who could outhit Bellinger right now, but his legs and his defense still make him valuable. His CF replacement, Outman, is at least a year or more away. So you are stuck with Bellinger’s bat and superior defense. Jays fired Charlie Montoyo.

    1. I heard an interview with Nomar this winter and he said all Bellinger needs to do is decide to make contact. The power would come. If you have a seasoned guy like Nomar that truly knows about hitting say something like that why wouldn’t’ a guy that is struggling listen. It is beyond belief. I agree though his defensive ability and incredible potential will keep Bellinger in the line up and signed for 23. After that it depends on if he is willing to listen and change his approach. Its as simple as that. Its a shame. Reportedly he is a good clubhouse guy but as hard headed as they come. Glory Days he keeps searching.

  4. The game on the line with RISP in the 7th and Roberts decides to hit MUNCY for Thompson? Really? Not looking at the result which was predictable who else would have made that move.?What does that tell Thompson when he is replaced by a guy hitting .148?

    1. They did not bring in the lefty until Muncy was announced. Guess Doc figured the lefty Muncy was a better bet against the righty. But he had to know that the Cards would change pitchers. Sometimes Doc makes some really head scratching moves. But put the blame where it belongs. Bases loaded, no outs, a run in and the next two guys cannot hit a ball deep enough to score a run? Pitiful.

      1. I’m sure that Doc knew the Cards would bring in Naughton as soon as Max was announced. The announcers were commenting that Naughton hadn’t been used in high leverage situations much this year, so I think Doc decided that he’d rather have Max try to draw a walk against the hopefully nervous lefty than take his chances with Trayce against the righty. That might also be the reason he used Max instead of Lux. Pitcher who might have the jitters against a guy whose only skill right now is drawing walks. It didn’t work, but then we have the benefit of viewing it in hindsight.

  5. It makes sense to plan on additional starting pitching. Where they get it is the question. We may be able to win the West with what we have, bringing up minor league starters to give our 4 best some needed time off. Castillo makes a lot of sense to me, but of course it depends on what they want for him. He’s good, but he’s not Scherzer or Darvish good.

    Ticket prices for the #MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium next week are currently at a record highs, according to TickPick. The average ticket price is $650, 83% higher than last year and 18% higher than the previous record set in 2016 at Petco Park in San Diego.”

    F that.

    1. He certainly isn’t Scherzer good. Darvish? At his best, no, but Darvish tends to be a bit inconsistent.
      If we could get Castillo for the equivalent of what we gave up for Darvish I’d do it in a second.

      I don’t know how many teams realized Scherzer was getable last year. Everyone knows Castillo is available which will mean more teams will make offers for him, and that will drive up the price.

      1. I mentioned Darvish because he was another deadline get.

        If Scherzer was made available it’s my guess everyone would have known about it.

  6. In the playoffs u might need 4 starters, maybe… Buehler, Urias, Gonsolin and Kershaw with Anderson, Heaney and May that can also contribute. It’s going to be about the offense. Will Roberts continue to play Muncy if his horrible season continues? Does Bellinger decide to make contact like last playoffs? Those issues will be the factors that win or lose the chances for a WS win.

    1. I am definitely not counting on Buehler to start playoff games this year. Not saying he couldn’t, but I definitely wouldn’t make my plans based on that.

      Scoop has been lobbying for another starter, based on the fact that Buehler might not be 100% this fall and Gonsolin and Anderson are due for some regression. I certainly can’t argue that point. Just a matter of whether AF is willing to have a playoff rotation of Urias, Buehler, Gonsolin and Kershaw with Anderson, Heaney, May and White as backups. If he is, he stands pat, if not he looks for another starter. I’ve got very mixed feeling about the whole thing so I’m just going to defer to Mr. Friedman.

      Contrary to what I thought a month ago, I now think we will definitely see Vargas here by August. I don’t think that the front office is willing to count on good production from Max, Belli and JT as a given. We could get by with 2 of the 3. Right now we have one (JT) but we can’t be sure that will continue.

      I think they’ll bring up Vargas and give him some decent amount of at bats, just to see if he’s ready for a possible role in the playoffs or if he needs more seasoning.

      1. The Dodgers medical opinion will decide that as u say. But people forget Kasten is in charge Friedman reports to Kasten. Kasten is responsible for the ongoing P&L. And Kasten made the statement about not giving up farm talent and Friedman talked about their budget being unsustainable. For me the choosing of Gomes as General Manager a former pitcher and someone that was in charge of the Farm spoke volumes to their future intentions. Which are to promote from within which has always been Kasten’s MO. It’s how they can increase their profit margins.

      2. When your payroll is almost 100 million more then everyone else, it definatly isn’t sustainable long term. We just didn’t have room for prospects until last year and we found out our prospects were not prospects or were too young. Now we have room for 4 or 5 prospects and they think they are not as good as the over 30s they keep promoting? Jeff is right, we really have no idea who the real prospects are. We think what we read. I’m just positive a few of our prospects are better than muncy is this season. We will see who they trade.

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