The starting pitching market is pretty thin this year. There’s no Max Scherzer tracker that everyone needs to keep their eye on. That said, the best pitcher available this year is Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo. Castillo may have missed some time this year due to injury, but after a few weeks of reduced velocity, Castillo has built himself back up to the tune of a 166 ERA-plus, the best of his career.
Castillo has done all this despite playing in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in America. That success makes him an ideal target for the New York Yankees, who have seen Nestor Cortes start coming back down to Earth, Gerrit Cole experience inconsistency, and Luis Severino return to the IL for the 50th time this month.
The Toronto Blue Jays are another team that could make a run at Castillo. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yusei Kikuchi, and José Berríos have all struggled mightily this season. Castillo would provide a spark to a rotation that has been pretty mediocre whenever Kevin Gausman, Alek Manoah, or Ross Stripling isn’t pitching. The Twins and Cardinals could be in the running as well, but no team in dire need of pitching can put together the same offer that the Yankees can. Perhaps the prospect of having to cut his hair will steer Castillo away from the pinstripes, but if not, the Yankees should be the favorite to land him.
Best Fits: Yankees, Blue Jays, Twins, Giants, Cardinals
Prediction: Castillo cuts his hair and heads to the Bronx