ESPN MLB Trade Ratings: Seattle Mariners Land Trade Deadline Top Available Pitcher in Luis Castillo Editor’s Picks Deal MLB Trade Deadline: August 2nd at at 6:00 PM ET

The trade: The Mariners acquire RHP Luis Castillo from the Reds for SS Noelvi Marte, SS Edwin Arroyo, RHP Levi Stoudt and RHP Andrew Moore.

With the Mariners in a wild-card position and looking to end an epic playoff drought that dates back to the Stone Age (at least in sports years) of 2001, you knew general manager Jerry Dipoto would make a move, and maybe a big one. . It didn’t disappoint. The Mariners were believed to be a top contender to acquire Juan Soto, but Dipoto took Castillo, seen as the best starting pitcher available (barring a shock trade for Shohei Ohtani) and teams that beat out offers like the Yankees, Dodgers and Cardinals who were also chasing Castillo.

Let’s go to the notes.

The Mariners are 17-5 in their last 22 games to put themselves in playoff position, but all five losses have come against the Astros since the All-Star break, with the Mariners scoring just 11 runs in those losses . So that’s why they were in Soto; they need to improve an offense that is 11th in the American League in runs per game. But they faced another problem: Rookie George Kirby is nearing his innings limit, with 94 innings on the season after throwing just 67.2 in 2021 in his first full season as a pro. Without a viable No. 5 starter, they did need another starter to replace Kirby in the rotation.

Castillo obviously fits that hole. The two-time All-Star is just 4-4 but has a 2.86 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 85 innings (he missed April after coming out of spring training with a sore shoulder). He’s been especially hot lately, posting a 1.59 ERA over his last five starts, including pitching seven innings in his last four outings. Two of those games came against the Braves and Yankees, two of the best offenses in the majors, so he hasn’t just been hitting the Cubs and the Pirates. With a fastball that averages 96-97 mph, Castillo’s velocity has never been an issue, nor has his changeup, which has been one of the best in the majors for several years. But he’s developed a bit more consistency this season, dropping his walk rate from 3.6 per nine innings to 3.0, and his slider has become a strikeout pitch, holding hitters to an average of .189 and only one home run. Scouts have seen Castillo as a potential ace, and he’s been closer than ever to that level in 2022, which is why every contender in need of a starter wanted this guy.

2 Related

Castillo has gone deep into games, throwing 187.2 innings in 2021 and 190.2 in 2019. Acquiring Castillo should allow Scott Servais to push back the innings of second-year right-hander Logan Gilbert, who has thrown 123 innings , just three behind Alek Manoah. for most of the AL. Kirby can move into the bullpen or make some starts as needed. Seattle’s bullpen has been lights out over the past two months: Entering Friday’s games, it had a major-best 2.59 ERA since May 25, so the Mariners now have plenty of depth in both rotation as in the pen to swipe. the last two months.

The added bonus is that Castillo is also under team control through 2023, giving the Mariners six viable starting pitching options for next season in Castillo, Gilbert, Kirby, Robbie Ray, Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen. Of course, there’s still that offense that needs updating. Trading Marte, their top prospect, almost certainly takes them out of the Soto sweepstakes, which they probably wouldn’t win anyway. Sure, they could offer a package of Kirby, Emerson Hancock, Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis and another prospect, but that would essentially empty the farm system, and given Kelenic’s struggles at the major league level, his trade value isn’t worthy of Soto right now anyway. The big upgrade the M’s are looking for will likely have to come from Mitch Haniger, who has been out since mid-April (other than a game). He is finally rehabbing in the minors and should be back soon. Remember he hit 39 homers last season.

But Haniger alone might not be enough, especially since the wild-card race remains a struggle with the Blue Jays, Rays, AL Central teams and perhaps the Orioles and Red Sox. The Mariners could still be in the market for a second-tier bat, someone like Joc Pederson, Ian Happ (although he has another team control, so the Cubs might not trade him), Brandon Drury, or David Peralta Or maybe Jesse Winker will finally start tracking consistently like he did in 2021.

Look, you can make the argument that no team needs a trip to the playoffs more than the Mariners…but they gave up two very promising prospects to get Castillo, and I think there’s a good chance this trade will look lopsided in favor of the Reds. here a few years. Yes, the trade helps the Mariners for this season and next, but considering how the Astros have crushed them in five games lately, Seattle doesn’t look like a World Series contender in 2022 (but you have to get in to have a chance !) .

Grade: C

The Reds and Mariners brought back the Winker/Eugenio Suarez deal in spring training (pitching prospect Brandon Williamson was the Reds’ main hit in that one), so that helps explain this deal. The Reds know Seattle’s system and the two front offices have dealt before, often the key to any successful transaction.

And there’s a reason the Reds agreed to this deal: They may have hit a home run.

Marte was Kiley McDaniel’s No. 12 prospect entering the season, and he has played at a level to stay in that ranking, or even move up. He’s hitting .270/.360/.460 for Everett in the high-A Northwest League at age 20, making him one of the youngest players in the league. His .820 OPS is well above the league average of .693, and he’s been especially hot lately, hitting .370 with seven homers in July (with 10 walks and just 12 strikeouts). Gotta love this mid-season tweak/upgrade. Marte’s power potential has been his calling card, with Kiley giving him a 60 grade in spring training. It might not stick at shortstop, but the bat and glove will easily profile at third base. Look, you never know with any prospect, and Marte wasn’t exactly tearing it up before his July hot streak, but unless the hitting tool suddenly evaporates, Marte looks like at least a big leaguer solid and with star potential. For over a year from Castillo, this is as good as you can hope for.

Which stars will move? Which contenders will make the biggest splash? Here’s our latest information as the deadline approaches.

MLB Trade Deadline Tracker »

Qualifications for each offer »

Except the Reds also traded Arroyo, Seattle’s second-round pick last year, out of Puerto Rico. He was a very young draft pick and won’t turn 19 until August, but he’s been super impressive in the lowly California League, hitting .316/.385/.514 with 13 homers. Yes, you have to adjust the California League stats (league OPS is .755), but Arroyo is one of two 18-year-olds in the league with at least 93 at-bats, and the other is hitting .188. Oh, he’s also 21-for-24 stealing bases with a chance at shortstop. He looks like a top 100 prospect heading into 2023. Reds fans should be very excited about this deal.

Except that’s not all. Levi Stoudt was probably Seattle’s No. 5 or 6 by consensus, though he has struggled at Double-A Arkansas with a 5.28 ERA and 13 homers allowed in 87 innings. But he has big stuff, with a fastball in the low 90s and a changeup that has been seen as his best secondary option. The strikeout-to-walk ratio has been pretty good, 82-22, so with more refinement, there’s still starter potential.

Andrew Moore (not the former Mariners prospect of the same name now in the minors with the Blue Jays) is a reliever with Bugs Bunny numbers in Modesto (58 K, no homers in 32.1 innings). A 14th-round pick last year out of Chipola Junior College in Florida, the numbers are at least intriguing.

Look, any rebuild is painful, and while you can blame the Reds for starting to deal out their best players in spring training, you can’t blame the Reds for this trade.

Grade: A

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *