Luis Castillo is the headliner in any trade discussions between the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds. The 29-year-old is coming off of an interesting season where he led the league in losses, games started, and walks.
Even with the losses and the walks, he turned in a decent year. Castillo was still worth 4.8 WAR and managed to finish the year with a 3.98 ERA.
Now five seasons into his career with a 40-49 record and 3.72 ERA, Castillo could be on the move this offseason with a team like the Mets in mind as a possible trade destination. The Reds do, however, have two other starting pitchers for the Mets to consider.
The Mets have two other Reds starting pitchers to consider trading for
The name Tyler Mahle may not mean much to Mets fans. Almost 500 innings into his big league career, Mahle broke out last season with a pretty fantastic year for the Reds. Mahle went 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA while striking out 210 in 180 innings pitched. An absolute outlier of a season from what he did in the previous four seasons, he’s a possible 27-year-old on the rise.
Mahle, who is still two years away from free agency, actually fits the mold well for what the Mets have been adding in recent years. Younger than Castillo with the same number of years of control left, he’s a riskier addition but one that won’t cost as much in a trade.
The other Reds pitcher is one fans in New York are far more familiar with. Sonny Gray, the most seasoned of the bunch, is different from these other two. On a contract worth $10.1 million next season and a team option for 2023, he’s more of a salary dump option for the Mets to take on.
In 26 starts for the Reds last year, Gray was 7-9 with a 4.19 ERA. He was an All-Star in 2019, going 11-8 with a 2.87 ERA in 31 starts. The obvious concern with him is whether or not he may be one of those guys that can’t handle New York. His time with the Yankees was disastrous. Was it the pinstripes or the Big Apple or maybe something else?
The Mets and Reds haven’t been shy about making trades in the past. From Tom Seaver to John Franco to Matt Harvey, notable pitchers have been traded between these two squads plenty. Until something becomes certain with Castillo, I expect him to headline a lot of the discussions and speculation.
And if the Reds trade him elsewhere or decide to hold on tight, the Mets have two others they can look at.