Luis Castillo is drawing loads of attention as the trade deadline nears, and according to Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds’ focus seems to be on getting young talent for Castillo rather than using him as an avenue to cut payroll. The idea of having a rival team take on Mike Moustakas’ contract as part of a Castillo deal hasn’t come up in recent negotiations, Nightengale writes, though the Reds were open to such a concept in other talks last year. However, as Cincinnati has moved some salaries off the books in subsequent deals, payroll cuts no longer seem to be as big a priority.
Castillo isn’t the only trade chip on the roster, as the Reds put “a high asking price” on infielder Donovan Solano in recent talks with an unknown club. Solano has hit an impressive .313/.371/.450 in 89 plate appearances this season, trying to make up for lost time after a hamstring injury delayed his 2022 debut until June 22. Cincinnati inked Solano to a one-year, $4.5MM deal in March, so he would be a pure rental for any club looking to add a versatile infielder and veteran right-handed bat to the mix.
More from around the National League…
- After two months on the injured list due to a shoulder impingement, Steven Matz’s return to the Cardinals rotation was cut short by a left knee strain. Manager Oliver Marmol told reporters (including Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat) that Matz will undergo an MRI tomorrow. The left-hander was pitching well before suffering the injury in the sixth inning, as he came up limping after stumbling while trying to field a grounder. The Cardinals have off-days on Monday and Thursday, so the team has some flexibility in maneuvering its rotation until a decision is made about Matz’s status.
- Evan Longoria looks to be headed back to the 10-day injured list, as the Giants veteran left tonight’s game due to a right hamstring strain. The severity of the strain isn’t yet known, but it will mark the third IL stint of the year for Longoria — he has been limited to 49 games due to finger surgery and a left oblique strain. Tommy La Stella and Brandon Crawford are also on San Francisco’s injured list, leaving the team shorter on infielders if Longoria indeed has to miss more time.
- The Padres have used a six-man rotation since the start of May, but manager Bob Melvin told reporters (including Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune) that after one turn through a five-man rotation over the last week, the club will again use five starts for at least the next week. Nick Martinez seems to have settled into a bullpen role over the last month while pitching some high-leverage innings, while MacKenzie Gore will also continue to be used out of the pen in order to help manage his innings. Gore has a combined 73 2/3 innings in the majors and minors this season, already above the 50 1/3 frames he pitched across four different minor league levels in 2021. Of course, San Diego’s pitching plans could possibly be impacted by injuries, trades, or other developments, but this rotation depth has been a major reason for the Padres’ success this year.