TRADE FOR LUIS CASTILLO
You were probably expecting to see Kris Bryant’s name somewhere on this list. I get it. And while the Mets have been known to have interest in Bryant, it’s unlikely that the Mets brass is going to dish out another nine-figure contract when they could answer multiple holes with the money they’d spend annually on Bryant.
What the Mets need right now is pitching and if the Mets truly think they can put themselves in a position to win a World Series in 2022, then Luis Castillo is a must add.
The right hander has been the linchpin of the Cincinnati Reds’ rotation for some time now and while there’s been much debate about whether or not Castillo could get to the level of winning a Cy Young, he’s shown enough to take the Mets into the category of a legitimate World Series contender.
But Chriss Bassitt had a lower ERA last year? Yes, and a lower WHIP. But it should be noted that Castillo got off to a brutal start in 2021. Blame it on the shortened 2020 season or just a bad start, but Castillo was unwatchable, posting a 7.22 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.
The start was brutal but the last four months of the season, Castillo was stellar. After the first 58 innings of the year, Castillo dominated, putting up a 2.73 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Finishing with 192 whiffs, Castillo eclipsed 165+ strikeouts for the third time in four seasons (89 in 2020).
Taking a deeper dive into Castillo’s 2021 season shows that his percentages were heavily influenced by his slow start. Castillo finished in the top percentiles in both 2019 and 2020 in regards to his pure stuff. The strikeout ability, the strong defense behind him and the pitcher-friendly confines of Citi Field could make Luis Castillo a stud in 2022.
A subscriber on The Athletic suggested a proposal of Ronny Mauricio and Jeff McNeil for Luis Castillo. It’s hard to imagine the Mets would pay that price without another piece involved. But what’s more, considering the Reds are also looking to sell this season, it’s worth considering if Mauricio would be enough as the centerpiece. The Reds have Matt McClain in their farm system who is ranked third, but Mauricio has superstar potential. The issue is Mauricio realistically doesn’t have a place on the roster moving forward.
It would be a tough cost to swallow, but like Casey Stern says, “prospects are cool, parades are cooler”. If you’re manifesting the MLB and MLBPA putting their petty differences aside so the loyal fans can enjoy their favorite sport in 2022, raise your hand.