The Dodgers will definitely need help in their rotation next season. Due to free agency and injury, the Dodgers only have two healthy starting pitchers right now, so the front office will have their work cut out for them. While it is technically still early in the offseason, the Dodgers are already looking into possibilities like free-agent lefty Steven Matz and signing players like LHP Andrew Heaney, who agreed to a one-year deal with the club.
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Dodgers have also checked in on Reds’ right-handed pitchers Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray. Both have two years of club control left with Castillo being the cheaper and younger option of the two.
The Dodgers did not offer Kershaw a qualifying offer after missing the playoffs with a strained flexor tendon, and engaged in trade talks with the Reds about Castillo and Gray. But if Kershaw wants to return, no problem, a spot will be left for him. - Bob Nightengale
Unfortunately, Castillo, who was well on his way to establishing himself as an ace for the Reds, had a pretty rocky start to the 2021 season. After the All-Star break, however, he managed to salvage his season and ended the year with a 3.98 ERA and 192 strikeouts across 33 starts while Sonny Gray, ended up finishing the year with a decent 4.19 ERA and 155 strikeouts across 26 starts. This isn't too surprising considering Gray gives up a lot of free passes and tends to struggle with his control.
It's not clear how far into discussions the two parties have gotten or whether it was simply a routine scouting assessment. For some time, Castillo has been on the Dodgers' radar, and the Reds have been trading partners in the past, so a deal isn't exactly out of the question. At the end of the day, Los Angeles would assuredly benefit from acquiring either one.