MLB trade deadline: Sailors acquire Luis Castillo from Reds for huge prospect haul

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

Castillo, 29, is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA (160 ERA+), 1.07 WHIP and 90 strikeouts to 28 walks in 85 innings this season. He made the All-Star team for the second time in his career and showed his ability to throw like an ace for long stretches throughout his career. He’s in the middle of such a run right now, in fact, as he’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last five starts (all the Reds win). He also struck out 41 batters in 34 innings.

The Mariners are experiencing the longest playoff drought in major North American professional men’s sports. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2001. After missing just two games last year, they’re currently in playoff position, heading into Friday night 54-46 and holding the second AL wildcard spot. The move signals general manager Jerry Dipoto’s desire to be even more aggressive in ending the drought.

With 2021 Cy Young winner Castillo and Robbie Ray, the Mariners now have the chance to wear down ace-caliber starters in two playoff games — and, remember, the wildcard round is now a three-game series. Thanks to Logan Gilbert and Marco Gonzales, they also have good depth of rotation.

Something to keep in mind on Castillo too is that it’s not necessarily just a move for the rest of the 2022 season. He’s still under the control of the team until next season, as it won’t hit free agency until after the 2023 season. That is to say, even if things don’t totally work out the rest of this year, it wouldn’t be a trade slump right now short term.

As for the return:

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

Time will tell how the comeback plays out for the Reds, but it looks like quite the journey.

On the Mariners side, Castillo contributing to a long playoff run — which is surely the goal — will be worth it.

Neal T. Doss