CINCINNATI -- Rumors about a supposed trade that would have sent starting pitcher Luis Castillo from the Reds to the Yankees proliferated all weekend from obscure corners of social media, soon finding their way into mainstream reports.
On Sunday evening, Reds general manager Nick Krall took the unusual step of directly addressing the rumor, pouring water all over it.
“[The rumors] are completely false,” Krall texted. “We intend to have [Castillo] as a member of our rotation for 2021.”
Krall has maintained throughout the offseason that he has listened to trade proposals on several of his players and that no one is off limits. Reports have surfaced about pitcher Sonny Gray and third baseman Eugenio Suárez, among others. The only significant trade that Cincinnati has made -- which no one anticipated early -- was closer Raisel Iglesias going to the Angels for reliever Noé Ramirez last month. It saved the Reds over $9 million off Iglesias’ 2021 salary.
The squashed trade report had Castillo going to New York for outfielder Clint Frazier and corner infielder Miguel Andújar. There were multiple issues with such a rumor, however.
Cincinnati is already loaded with outfielders with no obvious room for Frazier. The club also has Suárez at third base and Joey Votto at first base, leaving no open spot for Andújar.
As for Castillo, he is under club control for three more years. On Friday, he avoided arbitration with a one-year, $4.2 million contract. Although the Reds are trying to control costs, they are not looking to rebuild.
Castillo, 28, was 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 12 starts in 2020. He recorded 89 strikeouts over 70 innings. The right-hander was named to the National League All-Star team in 2019.