Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The Cincinnati Reds are visiting, and the wild trade speculation begins

Baseball's third biggest tomato can - ahead of only Washington and Oakland - visits Yankee Stadium tonight, a parade of Cincinnati Reds auditioning for a meaningful 2022 second-half. 

Lately, parlor game gossip has concentrated on Yankee trades for either Brian Reynolds or Andrew Benintendi, or any OF who can hit his weight - which, alas, Joey Gallo hasn't done. At this point, no 500-foot HR can save Crazy Eyes' time in NYC. The magic simply didn't work. As the TV jingle used to go, Gallo makes outs with loving care... 

So, for the approaching trade deadline, let's start with Gallo. Basically, we will probably deal him for whatever we can get. The Reds don't want him. No Tankathon-contending team does. We'll need to find a team still chasing the wild card, with a pressing OF need and a willingness to take the blue pill. In exchange, we'd probably get a prospect or two. Last year, to get Gallo, we traded four. It's absurd to speculate on who the prospects might be, or where Gallo would land. But for Cashman to remake the team, Crazy Eyes must go.

Once that happens, we have three basic outfield options: 

1. Promote either Estevan Florial, Tim Locastro or Miguel Andujar from Scranton. Florial, 24, seems to have finally bloomed. We've seen what Locastro can do as a pinch runner. And Miggy - dear Miggy - is long overdue.

Alas, who does not sense the Yankees' indifference to this threesome? Somewhere, somebody within the scouting machinery seems to have decided they cannot do the job. Sad. But if the guy hasn't asked asked you out on a date by now, he's just not interested.

2. Sign a veteran OF off the scrap heap. Don't snicker: Boston seems to have struck gold with Brigadoon Refsnyder, and earlier, we signed IF/DH Matt Carpenter, a godsend. There are always lug nuts out there- Cameron Maybin types - waiting to be scooped up, and Brian Cashman's greatest successes have come from combing the recycling bins. As proof: Nestor Cortez and Jose Trevino! There is talent out there, waiting for a chance.

3. Trade a bundle of prospects for Andrew Benintendi or Brian Reynolds. In both cases, the sellers will probably want SS Anthony Volpe, our current, bestest hope. 

It's been 10 years since the Yankees traded their No. 1 prospect - Jesus "Ice Cream" Montero for Michael "Pine Tar" Pineda. That day, the ground shook. Yet neither player ever made a difference for either team. As trades go, it became forgettable. 

I try to avoid exotic trade speculation. The devil's always in the deets, and any doofus who sits at home with his APBA cards, outlining trades - that's sorta scary. Do Red Flag laws cover that? Still, if the Yankees decide to trade Volpe, seems to me, it needs to bring the absolute missing ingredient for this October.  

That means pitching, pitching, pitching. 

Which brings us to Luis Castillo. He is 29, the Reds' best pitcher. He has given up 2 earned runs in his last 20 innings - in his last two starts, pitching into the seventh. He has another year on his contract, so he's not a rental.

He will face the Yankees Thursday night, against all star Nestor Cortez, who - unless he regains his April/May stuff, could conceivably lose a rotation slot to Castillo. 

Other contending teams will be watching. If Castillo looks like a Yankee-killer, his price tag will soar.  

A full-scale audition in the Bronx, with perhaps October on the line. Interesting, eh?


Celerino Sanchez said...

I would trade anyone but Volpe, but lets face it none of these pitchers they are talking about have any playoff experience. Castillo is good, but I have as many post season wins as he has. He's better than anyone else they have, but I don't think he is a lock to win it all.

ZacharyA said...

There's no way two months of Andrew Benintendi is going to cost a top-20 prospect.

Bryan Reynolds, yes. He's controlled through 2025.

But I certainly hope no team is stupid enough to pay that high of a price for two months of Benintendi. Rental position players don't have that type of value at the deadline historically.

I think Luis Castillo is a great fit for the Yankees because of his durability.

Castillo debuted on June 23, 2017. By my count he's made 135 starts since that date. Here is the full list of pitchers to exceed that number in the same span.

Aaron Nola (146 GS)
Patrick Corbin (144 GS)
José Berríos (142 GS)
Germán Márquez (141 GS)
Zack Greinke (138 GS)
Gerrit Cole (137 GS)
Kyle Gibson (137 GS)
Kyle Hendricks (136 GS)

Nola, Berríos, and Gibson are on contenders. We already have Cole. Greinke is at the end of the line. Kyle Hendricks is 32 and struggling (4.80 ERA). Patrick Corbin (5.70 ERA) has $59M left on his deal after this season. The Rockies refuse to listen to offers for Germán Márquez and he's not having a great season either (5.66 ERA).

Luis Castillo might be the best innings-eater currently available, especially if we're looking for someone relatively young (29) and effective (2.92 ERA).

ZacharyA said...


Castillo has made one postseason start:
5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

The Reds scored zero runs in that postseason series, so I can't blame Castillo for not earning a win. And that was the only time in Castillo's career the Reds managed to drag their sorry team to October.

I'm not saying Castillo is an ace, but he's an innings-eater (see my previous comment). And that what we need.

Mildred Lopez said...

Frankie Montas 2022 vs. Houston: 1 start, 7 innings, 2 ER, 5 SO, no walks

Frankie Montas 2021 vs. Houston: 4 starts, 24.2 innings, 5 ER, 29 SO, 7 walks

His shortest start against the Astros last year was in May, 5.0 innings. He gave up 1 earned run, walked 2 and struck out 6. Took the loss.

In April he went he went 6.0, 1 earned run, 5 strike outs, no walks.

In July he went 6.2, struck out 10, walked 1, gave up 1 earned run in a 2-1 A's win.

In September he went 7.0, 2 hits, 1 earned, struck out 8.

He has pitched to Altuve 35 times, gave up 9 hits, 2 of which were doubles, 2 home runs. The most earned runs he has given up to the Astros is 5 ... once in 2018, once in 2020.

Can we at least look into getting him Brain?

Doug K. said...

What happened to Corbin? Is he hurt? Could be all have been wrong and Brain right? Could his career be revived by becoming the Yankee he always wanted to be? Maybe the Nats want to pay down a large chunk.

Doug K. said...

Mildred -

Yes, maybe Montas is the right guy Thanks for the stats. Give us ANYONE who has proven his mettle against the Astros.

ZacharyA said...

In 2019, at age 29, Corbin threw 202.0 innings with a 3.25 ERA and 238 K. He received Cy Young votes and helped the Nationals win the World Series.

Since then:
60 GS, 332.0 IP, 402 H, 111 BB, 286 K, 62 HR, 5.56 ERA, 1.545 WHIP

He's completely fallen apart. And that's not a small sample size either.

Statcast was *always* leery of Corbin given his middling fastball velocity (92 mph) and his below-average spin rates. He made things work in 2018-2019 thanks to his monster slider.

Batters vs. Corbin's Slider
(2018) .145 BA, .242 SLG
(2019) .158 BA, .266 SLG
(2022) .280 BA, .512 SLG

And the ineffectiveness of his slider has forced him to vastly increase the use of his mediocre fastball. Things have spiraled for him.

I don't know if Corbin is fixable, but I do know the Nationals would need to eat down a significant portion of the remaining contract to be rid of him.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Zach A - I've been to this movie too many time. Jeff Weaver, Sonny Gray, Steve Trout, Denny Neagle, Jaimie Garcia, Kevin Brown, Michael Pineda, Javy Vasquez etc, etc, etc. Guys who were innings eaters, good numbers with their current teams, who sucked in NY. Sonny Gray had a 2.08 ERA in two post season starts for Oakland, how did that work out?

13bit said...

I hear you, Celerino. I hear you.

The 4-Dimensinoal Grand Master will do what he always does.

All Hail Brian!

AboveAverage said...


(is that what you meant 13b?)

Kevin said...

Montas has ONE SEASON in which he's thrown over one hundred innings (187, last year). And let's not forget that Oakland is a great pitcher's park. Montas and Castillo are the same age, have career whip numbers that are very close, but with Castillo having sustained his numbers over two hundred innings longer. Give me the left-handed pitcher for Yankee Stadium who has shown some durability. And always take pitcher stats wracked up in Oakland with a grain of salt. Castillo would be a very nice number two pitcher in the playoffs. We should pull out all stops to get him. Yeah, The Brain can be criticized in hindsight for pitching deals, as could every GM in baseball. But most of his failures were widely praised when made. Btw, Joc Pederson would make a great left-handed platoon bat who would be lethal in our lineup.