Yankees, Mets set to battle for ‘biggest prize’ on trade market, MLB insider says

Second to none.

The Big Apple’s ballclubs own the best records in baseball.

The NL-leading New York Mets (37-19) have built an 8.5-game lead in the National League East.

The New York Yankees have one-upped their neighbors in Queens, with MLB’s best mark (39-15) and a 7.5-game lead in the American League East.

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So it stands to reason the Yankees and Mets will be among the most active teams ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline. And that means Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Mets GM Billy Eppler could find themselves in an arms race for the same players.

Perhaps the best pitcher on the market is Cincinnati Reds right-hander Luis Castillo. The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham says the 29-year-old Castillo “could be the biggest prize of the summer.” And that’s not all, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Castillo’s history of excellence is too long for teams not to line up. And that extra year of control only broadens his market. Beyond the obvious destinations – the Mets and Twins could use front-of-the-rotation depth to paper over their injuries – there’s a long list of teams with an eye on not just this season but 2023 that could stand to give themselves some peace of mind. Among the contenders: the Yankees and Cardinals. Plus a quartet of teams with playoff aspirations that have scuffled to start this season: Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Texas.

Castillo, who was an All-Star in 2019 when he posted a career-high 15 wins, is 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA in six starts this season. According to Spotrac, Castillo is under team control through 2023.

MORE MLB:

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Yankees, Mets face trade deadline showdown for All-Star catcher, MLB insiders say

Yankees’ Brian Cashman could plunder Pirates (again) ahead of trade deadline, MLB insider says

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein@njadvancemedia.com.

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