The Seattle Mariners received the Friday night when they acquired All-Star Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds payroll for four little league prospects.
Cincinnati acquired outfielders Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, and righties Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore. Marte was the Mariners’ top-rated option, with Arroyo third and Stoudt fifth.
Seattle has not been to the playoffs since 2001, the most extended postseason deficit in the four major North American professional sports.
The 29-year-old right-hander Castillo was 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA for the Reds last time, pounding out 90 and pacing 28 in 85 innings. His fastball average is 97 mph.
Castillo is a two-term All-Star with a 44-53 record and a 3.62 ERA in six series. He has a compensation of $7.35 million this season, is suitable for arbitration next winter and can evolve into a free agent after the 2023 season.
He enters a process that includes Logan Gilbert, Robbie Ray, Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen. Touted newcomer George Kirby seems possible to be side-lined.
Marte, 20, hit .275 with 19 doubles, 15 homers, 55 RBIs, and 13 steals this season for Class A Everett.
The 19-year-old Arroyo was a third-round draft pick last year and hit .299 in the minors with 21 doubles, seven triples, 15 homers, 77 RBIs and 25 steals.
Stout, 24, is 13-9 with a 4.32 ERA in 33 dawns over two minor club seasons.
Moore, 22, is 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA this year for Class-A Modesto.
An evening earlier, the rebuilding Reds traded outfielder Tyler Naquin and left-handed infielder Phillip Diehl to the New York Mets for two minor league teenagers.
The Major League Baseball trade deadline is on Thursday.
Castillo was one of the top pitchers on the market at the trade deadline as several groups looked to make a playoff push.
In 14 seasons for Cincinnati, Castillo has compiled a 2.86 ERA over 85.0 innings and made the All-Star Game for the double time in his career and first since 2019.
Adding Castillo to the rotation is vital for the Mariners, who are looking to make their first playoff build since 2001.
Entering Friday, Seattle is 54-46 on the season and 11 games behind first-place Houston in the AL West. However, the Mariners are straight in the middle of the wild-card race, holding a one-game lead for the double wild-card place in the American League.
Something Castillo holds in mind is that this isn’t necessarily just a movement for the rest of the 2022 season. He’s still under group management next season as he doesn’t hit free agent until after the 2023 season. That suggests even if things don’t quite work out for the rest of this year, there’s no way it’s going to crash the business in the short term just yet.
The Mariners have the most extended playoff deficit in major North American experienced men’s sports. They haven’t played in the postseason since 2001.
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After cutting just two games last year, they’re posing in playoff position right now, leading into Friday night at 54-46 and grabbing onto the double AL wild-card spot.
The move signals manager Jerry Dipoto’s willingness to be even bolder in ending the drought.
With Castillo and 2021 Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, the Mariners can exhaust ace-calibre starters in two playoff games — and remember, the wild-card round is now a three-game series.
They also have good process depth, thanks to the likes of Logan Gilbert and Marco Gonzales.