MLB Trade Deadline: Mariners Take on Reds Luis Castillo for Huge Prospect Opportunity

The Seattle Mariners have landed All-Star starting pitcher Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds, the teams announced on Friday. The deal sends prospects Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore to the Reds. We’ll get to it in a moment, but the headline there is that the Reds have three of the Mariners’ top five prospects.

Castillo, 29, is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA (160 ERA+), 1.07 WHIP and strikeouts 90 against 28 walks in 85 innings this season. He was part of the All-Star team for the second time in his career and has shown throughout his career that he can throw like an ace. He’s in the midst of one of those series right now, actually, as he’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last five starts (all Reds win). He also struckout 41 batters in 34 innings.

The Mariners have the longest playoff drought in North America’s major professional men’s sports. They haven’t been in the postseason since 2001. After missing just two games last year, they are now in the playoff position, heading to 54-46 Friday night and holding the second AL wildcard spot. This move signals General Manager Jerry Dipoto’s willingness to be even more aggressive in ending said drought.

With Castillo and Robbie Ray, winner of Cy Young 2021, the Mariners now have the chance to finish in two playoff games with ace-caliber starters – and remember that the wildcard round is now a three-game series. Thanks to Logan Gilbert and Marco Gonzales, among others, they also have a good rotational depth.

Something to keep in mind on Castillo as well is that this isn’t necessarily just a move for the remainder of the 2022 season. He is still under team control until next season, as he won’t be hitting a freestyle until after the 2023 season. That is, even if it doesn’t quite work out for the rest of this year, it would by no means make trading a failure in the near term.

Regarding the return:

  • Marte is a 20-year-old shortstop in High-A this season and was considered the best prospect the Mariners had, possibly a top-10 overall man. He hits .270/.360/.460 with 19 doubles, 15 homers, 55 RBI, 61 runs and 12 steals in 84 games.
  • Arroyo, 18, was the Mariners’ high school second-rounder last season. He was considered the Mariners’ third-best prospect. In 84 games in Class A this season, he hit .316/.385/.514 with 19 doubles, seven triples, 13 homers, 67 RBI, 76 runs and 21 stolen bases.
  • Stoudt, a 24-year-old righthanded pitcher, was the Mariners’ third round from Lehigh in 2019. In 18 Double-A starts this season, he is 6-6 with a 5.28 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 82 strikeouts against 22 walks in 87 collection. He was considered the Mariners’ fifth best prospect.
  • Moore, a 22-year-old right-handed reliever, was the Mariners’ 14th round last year. MLB.com has not ranked him in the Mariners’ top-30. In 25 appearances for Class A, he has a 1.95 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 58 strikeouts against 17 walks in 32 1/3 innings.

Time will tell how the return turns out for the Reds, but it looks like it’s going to be a bit of a struggle.

At the end of the Mariners, Castillo, contributing to a deep playoff run — which is certainly the goal — will make the move worth it.

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