The Blue Jays apparently were runners up on Francisco Lindor. If they shift focus to Luis Castillo, what would it cost in prospect capital?
The Toronto Blue Jays were apparently the runners up for Lindor according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. The Jays offer, which we aren’t aware of, reportedly consisted of a package of higher ceiling prospects that were further away from the majors. In comparison, the Mets offered a package that had a mix of present and future pieces.
Based off just that information, I am going to assume the Jays offer started with Orelvis Martinez, who would replace Andres Gimenez as the headliner of the deal. I am also going to assume that they offered someone like Santiago Espinal, who would swap in for Rosario Ahmed. From there, I would have to think the other pieces that were further away would be Gabriel Moreno and one of Adam Kloffenstein or CJ Van Eyk. I do believe that package offers more upside, but Gimenez offers an immediate replacement for Lindor.
I believe that Ross Atkins and company should shift their attention to a different trade target, and that is Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds I heard a lot of fans argue that the Jays shouldn’t acquire Lindor unless it came with an immediate extension. Although I disagree with that sentiment, it is a moot point now anyway. However, that idea of team control isn’t an issue with Luis Castillo as he has three more years of arbitration eligibility, with a projected salary for 2021 in the 4.5-5 million dollar range.
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As part of a Castillo package, I would offer to take a player with a large salary off the Reds’ hands to lessen the asset capital needed. The three players that come to mind that the Jays front office could acquire would be Eugenio Suarez, Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas.
Eugenio Suarez is a third baseman who does not bring premium defence to the position by any means, but at the moment is still an upgrade over what we currently have. He hits for power and gets on base at a good clip, but also strikes out a lot. He has quite a bit more value than either of the other two, but his homer or strikeout approach may not be what the Blue Jays need. All that said, Suarez may not bring down the cost of the trade, and Cincinnati may want even more to include him.
Nick Castellanos has four years of team control due to a fourth year team option, but also can opt out after the 2021 season. He will make $14 million dollars in 2021. He is a mainly a right fielder and a very poor defensive one at that. The Jays currently have Teoscar Hernandez playing right and Castellanos projects as more of a designated hitter anyway. This one doesn’t really work all that well either.
My choice for the Jays front office would be Mike Moustakas, who can play either second or third base and even a little first base. He has played mainly third over his career with the Kansas City Royals, but after getting traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018, he started playing more second base. In 2020 it was his main position. He would bring position flexibility and would allow the Jays to explore trades of other players on the roster.
As it was reported the Jays were not interested in trading present pieces for Lindor, let’s assume the same holds true for a potential Castillo deal. If the Jays were willing to take back the three years and $52 million left on Moustakas’ contract, I believe that Jordan Groshans would be the main piece in return. I would then assume that one of Alejandro Kirk, Simeon Woods Richardson or Orelvis Martinez would also have to go. I am going to use Kirk as I wouldn’t want to trade two infield prospects and the Jays have glut of catchers on the 40 man roster. The next two pieces I think would be Alek Manoah and Miguel Hiraldo. It’s possible the Reds would be more interested in Woods Richardson over Groshans. I would be fine with either of those scenarios. I think either package would probably require some filler, but nothing of real significance.
Would you want to see the Blue Jays pivot from Lindor and acquire Luis Castillo and Mike Moustakas? If so would you be good with potentially moving Groshans, Kirk, Manoah and Hiraldo? Believe it or not, baseballtradevalues.com says that the Blue Jays wouldn’t be be paying near enough, even with this rock-solid package of prospects. Let me know what you think in the comments.