The Reds sent SP Luis Castillo to Seattle in what feels like the first real trade of the deadline rush even though it wasn’t. It’s hard to hate this deal from either side. Cincinnati lands a prospect package the prospect people will promise they should be happy about. Seattle gets the kind of pitcher that makes you a pain in the playoffs. Pretty easy to see who wins the deal over the next couple seasons, and it’s not the team hoping to compete someday somewhere over the rainbow.

I realize all the metrics and maybe even the Matrix says the Reds did great here, but great pitching is rare, and it’s only in the context of having a dumpy team that it makes any sense to trade a great pitcher. It’s fine to say they did okay in the context of accepting their fate as a dumpy team. It’s weird to do a touchdown dance about getting demonstrably worse for the foreseeable future. How did we get here? Is this my house? How do the days go by? I should look up the lyrics for that song but feel protected if I’m just half-remembering here, sort of how I half-remember the steps leading us to the place where we think it’s cool to trade aces for teenagers. I can see myself listening to Moneyball on audio book while playing Madden and/or The Show in between summer shifts at the Chestaurant (not its name). Holy shizz did I have to learn a lot that summer. From lobster to fajitas to fried chicken to scallops to shrimp. Luckily I knew grilled meat already, I guess, though I don’t think I worked the grill much, bouncing instead among tasks I could barely manage. If you’ve seen The Bear, that was basically me minus all the food talent and work ethic and backstory. My brother did work the expo window, for what it’s Wuertz, along with doing pretty much everything else that needed done in the place. 

Anyway, Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo get a nice little value boost moving out of Seattle and into the Smallpark, potentially. 

Luis Castillo gets a chance to go nuclear down the stretch and make himself an obscenely wealthy man after the 2023 season. 

Reds fans seem incredibly happy with the deal on Twitter, which is probably not a great proxy for people who actually buy tickets to see the team but is one reason we see so much of this.

The club also traded Tyler Naquin, which opens up some at bats for *checks notes* Jake Fraley. That can’t be right. Meh, that’ll sort itself out. Stuart Fairchild is a good bet. Or, a bet, anyway. We’ll probably see Donovan Solano in a full-time capacity from here on out. He’s slashing .330/.379/.479 in 28 games. That’ll play.

Mets 2B Hector Rodriguez (18, A) went to Cincinnati in this Naquin deal along with RHP Jose Acuna (19, A), and I do think the Reds did well on this one. I’m typically on the side of whoever adds major league talent, but no offense to Naquin; he’s unlikely to be missed in the long run. Could say the same about Rodriguez and Acuna given their age, but Rodriguez was sizzling at the complex despite being young for level, and Acuna is generating similar good-for-his-age outcomes due largely to a plus fastball. 

The Cubs acquired 2B Zach McKinstry from the Dodgers on Saturday in return for RP Chris Martin. Makes sense for both sides. McKinstry is a man of many gloves and could quickly command a healthy portion of playing time mixing in all around the diamond. He was slashing .335/.417/.487 with four home runs and zero stolen bases in 48 games at Triple-A. His most impressive stat is the BB/K ratio of 12.1 percent to 14.8 percent. It’s a gamble for the Cubs in the sense that the clock is ticking until they’ll have to decide how to handle him in the coming 40-man crunch this winter. Or even the 40-man crunch coming next week. He’s the guy the Dodgers want to trade right now for that same reason, and that leads to kind of a snap reaction to pass and ask for something they don’t want to trade, but that doesn’t always yield the best result, in my opinion. 

Dynasty leagues are much different than running a real team, I realize, but hooking up with a motivated seller is not a bad plan, especially if they’re a team like the Dodgers that tends to be successful. The players they can no longer fit on the 40-man roster because they can’t bounce them on and off the 26-man roster are better than that same type of player on the fringes of just about every other team. They take on some risk deciding he’s expendable for relief help, knowing they might well be right that he’ll become a quality big league regular after they invested seven years of developmental resources and time to his growth. 

With McKinstry on the way out, the Dodgers promoted stash list mainstay OF James Outman to pick up some plate appearances. Outman has 21 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 90 games between Double and Triple-A this year and could help in deep leagues if the Dodgers give him the chance to do so. I’d probably check for OF Trayce Thompson while I’m looking. 

Also on Saturday, Arizona traded David Peralta to Tampa, which leaves a Corbin Carroll sized hole in their outfield. Trouble is it’s also a Stone Garrett sized hole. And a Dominic Fletcher sized hole. Man, I need to get away from this sentence structure. Way too many holes. Which is kind of like the Arizona roster insofar as pushing Corbin Carroll’s timeline is concerned. Smart money says Carroll breaks camp with the big club next year and debuts on Opening Day. Would also be smart money to lay a buck or two on whoever gets the first chance at this gig. Both these outfielders have plenty of talent. 

A few post-script notes about some guys to consider.

Ronan Kopp is a remake of a car chase film starring Robert DeNiro, I think, and it’s also the name of a 6’7” 250 lb 19-year-old left-handed Dodger who’s been going deeper and deeper like he’s trying out to become a member of The Seven. He brings his fair share of reliever risk, but the plan to stretch him to start is going well in Low A, where Kopp threw four shutout innings on July 24, extending his scoreless streak to 18.2 innings across six outings during which he’s struck out 30 batters, walked nine and allowed seven hits. He features a high-nineties fastball and wipeout slider that makes for a dumpy day when you’re a Low A hitter just trying to get some reps. 

Yankees RHP Luis Serna turned 18 on July 20th and has allowed just one earned run in 24.1 innings pitched in the Florida Complex League, where he’s been four years younger than his average-aged competitor. Serna is listed at 5’11” 162 lbs, and his longest outing this season was 4.1 innings, so we’ve obviously got a long way to go here, but you can only knock down the pins in front of you. 

Marlins 3B Charles Leblanc intrigues me. He’s a 26-year-old, right-handed French-Canadian who brings plenty of power but also some swing and miss and little margin for error given the defensive profile, but he’s got a good eye and is learning to use that to his advantage year over year. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him carve out a post-deadline role for himself.

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

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3 months ago

Itch, can we get updated Top 75 for August. Love reading your stuff man.

I grabbed Carroll, Cruz, gray rod, Vargas, Walker, volpe, casas and eury perez for next season. Either hoping that some bring trade value or keep. My keepers are old now, great run for years man and now I’m looking to start it up again.


3 months ago

Ruiz addition about to pay off big time…..right?

Better Call Limehouse
Better Call Limehouse
Reply to  foxman
3 months ago

was immediately sent to triple, and went from one playoff hopeful team to another, not at all guaranteed in the short term this helps his playing time. longer term it is a better park for hitters. abrams got more help going to WAS just now for sure (well i say sure, i don’t make those decisions).

Better Call Limehouse
Better Call Limehouse
Reply to  Better Call Limehouse
3 months ago

assuming you meant e.ruiz

3 months ago

Yo Itch! Thx for all the thoughts on last week’s post on Yiddi and Watson, good stuff. And digging the Outman callout over last month or two by you too. I had added him in all 3 of my dynasty leagues in recent weeks. And maybe can flip him in my deep one soon, for something to help me win in Sept.

Anyways, just wanted to drop by and say thanks. Not posting as much these days, just bogged down with the stuff with a 1 y/o (our first) Hope all is well with you and yours, bruthaman

Eli Man Penguin Boy
Eli Man Penguin Boy
3 months ago

was in here last time, got e.ruiz with middling waiver.

20 team h2h dynasty with OPS, OBP over AVG, total bases, defensive stuff too (putouts, assists, %, double plays, so 1B and C’s have more value, DH’s a lot less, if you’re playing a 1B or C who’s really a DH that’s the worst value loss), QS, relief appearances, relief wins, K/9, holds also. team based rosters at least 9 TEX players (owned in any way counts)
C: raleigh
1B tellez
2B: whit (CF/RF)
SS: j.polanco (2B)
3B: j.rojas (2B/SS/RF/LF)
LF: y.alvarez
CF: leodys
RF: mccormick (streamer)
util: y.gurriel
BN (5 BN, at most one of which can be used for active pitcher): j.smith (3B/SS), j.mcarthy (all OF), brujan (2B/RF), e.ruiz (2B, will at some point get CF and LF it appears)
IR: stanton (LF/RF), berti (2B/3B/LF), kepler (CF/RF)
pitchers (max 13 active):
SP (5): t.anderson, j.urias, morton, darvish, gallen, woodruff
RP (6-7): pressly, clase, j.hernandez, leclerc, stephan, z.jackson, graveman
IR: ryu, j.barlow, bender, d.jimenez, paxton, p.johnson

prospect elig stashes (till 150/50, max 10):
hitters: pratto, j.jung, d.harris, h.perez, n.marte, a.martin
pitchers: e.perez, b.miller (LAD), c.winn, d.espino

(1): k.rocker, just redrafted by TEX, i can obtain right now (he was first drafted 2021, so first obtainable by us this year, but nobody did), drop who for him though? i’d prefer to have more hitters vs pitchers stashed, but need TEX guys in general of course. also i can probably trade b.miller to LAD owner at some point. a.martin maybe?

(2): from that recent b.thompson news, he’s been owned/not owned a few times, not now though, him over anybody?

Lower the Jolly Roger
Lower the Jolly Roger
3 months ago

Itch once again awesome stuff… in my 12 teamer roto .. keep 10 & 12 farm/stash… I’m in 4th.. trying to add a piece anywhere in my MLB .. Been dangling Brennan Davis .. if someone bites would you fill that spot with anyone from your last few write ups? Or Pratto ? Also are you still in on Elehuris Montero ?? Thank you as always !

IV Thoughts
3 months ago

Always enjoy the articles Itch!

Quick question for you, 15 AL only league (normal 5×5), I’m going for it this year and next.
Would you trade Oswald Peraza for Luis Castillo? I need pitching and already have Jorge Polanco and Marcus Semien for SS coverage. Seems like a no brainer right?
3 months ago

Good morning Itch,
What’s your take on STL Moises Gomez OF? He’s been tearing it up in the Minors, and that includes his recent promotion to AAA. This guy has got to be better than Nootbar.

3 months ago

Morning Itch!

The Dog Days of Summer are officially here! Appreciate the insider trading secrets! What do you take on Gabriel Gonzalez OF of the M’s? A spect to target?

3 months ago

The Itch!!!


a. Great report, great intel. Thanks a lot.

b. Moved Outman up from my MiLB roster moving Roansy Contreras down to the MiLB roster. Let’s see what Josh can do with the last game of the LAD road trip to Colorado!

c. I’m all in on Tracey. Thought he is a streamer, then saw how good he’s been of late and then saw he’s in Colorado too. Will ride out his hot streak especially with McKinstry’s departure and Taylor’s injury.

d. George Carlin quote of the day for July 31, 2022

‘As it stands right now, I lead Richard Pryor in heart attacks, two to one. However, Richard still leads me, one to nothing, in burning yourself up (after his second heart attack, 1982).’