Juan Soto may be the biggest name on the market ahead of the MLB trade deadline on Aug. 2, but contenders reportedly have major interest in Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo as well.
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays are in the running:
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"This is right now the best pitcher on the market."<a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeyman?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonHeyman</a> mentions the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros and Jays as the latest teams in on Reds' All-Star SP Luis Castillo 👀<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLBCentral?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLBCentral</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/LaurenShehadi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LaurenShehadi</a> <a href="https://t.co/DDj0sDksSe">pic.twitter.com/DDj0sDksSe</a>
The 29-year-old is 3-4 in 13 starts this season with a 2.77 ERA, 1.077 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 78 innings. The two-time All-Star has given up just three runs in his last four starts.
So the right-hander won't come cheap, especially since he isn't a rental—Castillo is under contract through the 2023 season.
The usual contenders are reportedly lining up. The Dodgers (61-30) currently sit atop the NL West by 10.5 games and look like a legitimate favorite again to win the World Series. Adding another top-line ace would be beneficial, though it'd be a luxury addition.
Ditto for the Yankees (64-30), who sit a comfortable 12 games above the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and have a solid rotation, though Luis Severino's trip to the injured list hurt their depth.
Houston's rotation isn't an issue, so adding Castillo rather than a center fielder at the deadline might come as something of a surprise if the team goes that route. Come October, however, a surplus of star pitchers certainly never hurts, and his addition would make the Astros (61-32) all the more formidable.
The Blue Jays (50-43) would likely benefit the most from adding a high-profile starter like Castillo, given their team needs, as they battle for a wild-card spot. The question is whether throwing many trade chips at one big piece, rather than firming up other areas of need like the bullpen while adding a cheaper fifth starter, is the right move.
Other teams could emerge as strong suitors as well since Castillo is one of the top pitching names reportedly on the market.