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While most of the sports world focused on a pair of NFL Divisional playoff games on Sunday, Major League Baseball had some news of their own regarding Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Castillo.
The Reds reportedly were close to sending Castillo, who was 4-6 with a solid 3.21 ERA in last year’s shortened season, to the New York Yankees.
Sunday evening, Reds general manager Nick Krall put the rumor to bed, stating that it’s not true.
“[The rumors] are completely false,” Krall texted. “We intend to have [Castillo] as a member of our rotation for 2021.”
Reds are telling teams now they intend to hold onto Luis Castillo. They tested the waters on Castillo and other stars but understand they have an excellent shot to win their division as is.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 18, 2021
Castillo was very good two seasons ago in the Queen City, going 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA. With the Reds set to lose NL Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer in free agency, getting rid of Castillo would make little sense.
The Reds shipping off pitcher Sonny Gray and third baseman Eugenio Suárez has also been bantered about, and that could be a move to help the team long term, but moving Castillo would not.
Cincy did make one cost-cutting deal already for the 2021 season, trading closer Raisel Iglesias to the Angels for reliever Noé Ramirez. Trading Iglesias to Los Angeles will save the team $9 million, money that could be put to good use elsewhere.
The 28-year-old Castillo is set to make $4.2 million in 2021, and he’s got two more years of team control before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
Paying a solid starting pitcher just over $4 million is a bargain, which is why the Reds would be wise to hang on to Castillo and build around him, not deal him to the Bronx.