MLB Trade Rumors: Reds Open to Discussing Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle Deals

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 10, 2022

CINCINNATI, OHIO - MAY 09: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on May 09, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The 5-23 Cincinnati Reds are well on their way to an abysmal season, and the time to sell may come sooner rather than later for the last-place team.

MLB insider Peter Gammons reported the Reds are "willing to talk" about potentially trading starting pitchers Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle. Castillo is the headliner and one of the few players on Cincinnati's roster that could be a season-changer for a contender.

Frankly, the Reds started selling before the season even started.

They waived pitcher Wade Miley and traded catcher Tucker Barnhart, pitcher Sonny Gray, infielder Eugenio Suarez, pitcher Amir Garrett and outfielder Jesse Winker. Yet general manager Nick Krall told reporters prior to the campaign he didn't envision trading Castillo or Mahle.

The rough start to the year may have changed the front office's mind, as the 27-year-old Mahle likely won't be a key part of Cincinnati's next contending team and Castillo could net a number of marquee prospects to accelerate the rebuild.

Mahle was solid the last two seasons with an ERA below 4.00, but he has a 6.46 ERA and 1.57 WHIP through his first seven starts in 2022. His value was likely higher before the disappointing start to the year, so Cincinnati may have cost itself in potential negotiations.

As for Castillo, the 29-year-old is under team control until 2024 and wouldn't be a pure rental for any contender looking to improve its starting rotation.

The 2019 All-Star has a career 3.72 ERA and 1.22 WHIP and made his season debut Monday after dealing with shoulder concerns. He allowed three earned runs with five strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work against the Milwaukee Brewers.

While Reds fans who saw many of the team's notable players shipped away likely won't be thrilled if Castillo joins that list, getting valuable pieces in return before he could leave as a free agent in 2024 may be the best route since the team looks nowhere near contending as currently constructed.