Luis Castillo: Cincinnati Reds
2021 was a tale of two seasons for Luis Castillo, but unlike Yusei Kikuchi, he only got better as the season went on. Through the first two months of the season, he had a 7.22 ERA in 52.1 innings but had a 2.73 ERA over 135.1 innings for the remainder of the year. That latter half of the season is the Luis Castillo that we had become accustomed to seeing over the past few years, as he’d proven himself as one of the National League’s best starters since 2019.
Castillo’s arsenal features a fastball, sinker, changeup, and slider, all of which have both top-tier movement and velocity. He’s got a deadly high 90s fastball, along with one of the league’s better changeups. He’s also got a solid sinker and slider, and uses every pitch at least 17% of the time. When he’s on his game, there are very few pitchers who can do what he does. Like his teammate, Sonny Gray, Castillo has two years of club control remaining, but I would expect him to cost a bit more in a trade.
The Blue Jays would likely have to add another prospect like Adam Kloffenstein to the package of Martinez/Groshans and Van Eyk, since Castillo is both younger and has more tools for a team to work with. Not only would Castillo improve the Jays rotation, but he also has the potential to be their ace if they were to get him. It would be an expensive trade, but the potential payoff could be huge.