It certainly appeared as though the Cincinnati Reds were in full teardown mode. Tucker Barnhart had essentially been given away, and Wade Miley literally was. Luis Castillo was reportedly on the block and it seemed as though the Reds were about to get rid of anyone possible.
That is no longer the case. According to Buster Olney, the Reds have pulled Castillo off the block, making him and Tyler Mahle untouchable in trade discussions.
Cincinnati Reds holding on to younger arms
It makes sense that the Reds would be interested in seeing what they can get for Gray. He is due to receive just over $10 million this season and has a team option for another $12 million for 2023. While that is a reasonable cost, Gray also just turned 32 years old and may not be viewed as part of the future in Cincinnati.
Gray is also coming off of his worst season as a member of the Reds. He posted a 4.19 ERA and a 1.219 WHiP over his 135.1 innings, striking out 155 batters with 50 walks. While his numbers were still respectable, but one can understand the Reds wanting to move on at this point. Waiting until the trade deadline could lead to the risk that he takes a further step back this season, lessening his value.
Meanwhile, Mahle and Castillo are viewed as pieces for the future. Even though both also have just two years of team control remaining, they are younger than Gray. It is also possible that the Reds could look to sign both pitchers to long term extensions with the idea of keeping their core together.
Gray, at his age, is not going to be a part of that future. While he can help a team win now, the Reds are looking to put together a more long term model, something that can be sustained. Trading Gray for other pieces will be a part of that plan.
The Cincinnati Reds are still looking to sell some of their pieces. However, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are reportedly off the trade block.