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Miami Marlins have high expectations for prospect Luis Castillo

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Castillo could be a piece in Miami’s future rotation.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Naylor was ranked ahead of Marlins pitching prospect Luis Castillo when Miami traded both to San Diego in exchange for Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea, but MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported Castillo was the prospect drawing the most interest.

Now that the Marlins have Castillo back in their minor league system after shipping Rea, currently on the 15-day disabled list, to San Diego, they aren’t speaking about him in a way that would suggest a trade is imminent.

The Marlins feel Castillo can be a 20-game winner, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

One Marlins official said Tuesday he believes Castillo can be a 20-game winner because of “good velocity, mound presence. Has three quality pitches, doesn’t pitch scared.” He has a 2.25 ERA in Jupiter, with 84 strikeouts in 100 innings.

Those also don’t sound like words from an organization that was OK with moving Castillo in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline. However, the Marlins seem to think Castillo can contribute regularly moving forward.

Miami could have dangled Castillo in trade talks after they learned he would be sent back Monday, but with the asking price for starting pitching reaching a notable high hours before the deadline, the Marlins didn’t seem open to parting with him.

The Marlins could still claim a player on waivers and make a trade for another starting pitcher. With David Phelps getting ready to be the club’s fifth starter, though, that doesn’t seem likely.

While the Marlins could move Castillo in a trade for a starting pitcher this winter, they could also move Derek Dietrich or Adeiny Hechavarria. The club could also consider free agents, though the market for starting pitching doesn’t feature many big names.