MLB Trade Deadline: Mariners acquire Luis Castillo from Reds for top prospect.

The Seattle Mariners have signed All-Star starting pitcher Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds, the teams announced Friday. The deal sends Manuel Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore to the Reds. We’ll get to those in a bit, 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 against 28 walks in 85 innings this season. He made the All-Star team for the second time in his career and has shown the ability to pitch like an ace throughout his career. He’s in the midst of such a run right now, actually, as he’s 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last five starts (all Red wins). He also got out after scoring 41 runs in 34 innings.

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

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

The thing to keep in mind on Castillo, too, is that this isn’t necessarily just a move for the rest of the 2022 season. He’s still under team control through next season, as he won’t hit free agency until after the 2023 season. This means that, even if things don’t work out perfectly for the rest of this year, it will by no means give the trade a jolt in the short term yet.

As for returns:

  • Mart is a 20-year-old shortstop in High-A this season and was considered a potential top-10 overall prospect by the Mariners. He is hitting .270/.360/.460 with 19 doubles, 15 homers, 55 RBI, 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 games at 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 right-handed pitcher, was the Mariners’ third-round pick out of 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 innings. He was considered the Mariners’ fifth-best prospect.
  • Moore, a 22-year-old right-handed reliever, was a 14th-round pick of the Mariners last year. does not have him listed among the Mariners’ top 30 prospects. In 25 outings 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 comeback goes for the Reds, but it looks like quite a run.

On the Mariners’ end, Castillo contributing to a deep playoff run — which is, of course, the goal — would make the move worth it.