Christmas is less than one week away and we're still waiting for the offseason's first significant free agent signing. Only 10 of our top 60 free agents have signed, including only one of the top 14 and five of the top 28. Uncertainty surrounding the start of the 2021 season certainly hasn't helped matters. Here are the latest hot stove rumblings.
Reds discussing Castillo in trades
In addition to Sonny Gray, the Reds are also discussing right-hander Luis Castillo in trade talks, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Heyman notes the asking price is appropriately high. Castillo turned only 28 earlier this month and he's pitched at an ace level the last two seasons. Also, he will remain under affordable team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2023.
Cincinnati has been cost-cutting mode this offseason. They non-tendered trade deadline pickups Archie Bradley and Brian Goodwin, and sent closer Raisel Iglesias to the Angels in what amounted to a salary dump trade. Gray is owed $10 million each of the next two seasons and would fetch a significant return. Castillo would bring back even more given his age and a projected 2021 salary in the $3 million range.
LeMahieu seeking $125 million
Free agent infielder DJ LeMahieu is seeking a five-year contract worth $125 million, according to NJ.com's Bob Klapisch. LeMahieu and the Yankees have mutual interest in a reunion, though Klapisch says "no one in the organization wants to commit to a fifth year" for the 32-year-old. Another team jumping into the mix with a fifth guaranteed year would presumably force New York's hand.
LeMahieu has been among the best all-around players in the baseball the last two seasons and, in normal times, he very well might have received five years and $125 million. It's hard to see that with payrolls coming down amid the pandemic, however. There is no harm is LeMahieu's camp seeking that much -- you can't get what you don't ask for -- but it seems likely his next contract will come in somewhere south of that.