Over the weekend, news came out that the Mariners had locked in another player to a long-term extension. That player happens to be Luis Castillo, who has signed either a 5/$108 million deal or a 6/$133 million deal, depending on a vesting option for 2028. It makes the trade with the Reds seem even better knowing that they now have him locked up for quite a while.
It’s an incredible deal for the Mariners. Personally, I thought it was going to take a lot more money than this to get Castillo to sign. At 29, he’s in the prime of his career, which usually seems to hold for pitchers through their early 30s. His age 35 season comes during the final year of the deal in 2028, so he should still be dealing once the contract runs its course.
The Mariners locked up Luis Castillo, giving the team (another) long-term ace
First things first. They aren’t getting him for $21.8 or $22.16 million a year. 2023 would’ve been his final year of arbitration, and he likely would’ve gotten something in the $12-14 million range. That makes this deal either 4/95 or 5/120. About $24 a year in either case. That still seems like a heck of a bargain. Think about the kind of player the Mariners are locking down in Luis Castillo.
- 29 years old
- Modern-day workhorse
- Low 3 ERA
- 99 mph 2-seamer with 17″ of run!
Seriously, go watch that video again against Soto. He just made one of the best hitters, and arguably the guy with the best eye in baseball, look foolish.
The deal potentially runs through the 2028 season if Castillo can throw 180 IP in 2027, which would turn into a $25 million vesting option in 2028. Also, if he misses 130+ days due to a UCL injury between 2025-2027, it becomes a $5 million team option.
To most people in baseball, Luis Castillo is a bonafide #1. Likely an Ace. For someone of his caliber, I really thought we were going to see a deal in the low-30s per year. Not the low 20s. Whenever I talked to anyone about it, a deal in the range of 5/160 was normally what came up. Make that 6/173 or so to cover the final year of arbitration, but it was gonna be 30 a year or a little more for his free agent years.
The Mariners got a heck of a deal, and it sets them up incredibly well for the next few years. Check this out. Here is the year when each Mariners SP becomes a FA.
- Luis Castillo – After the 2028 season if his option hits
- Robbie Ray – After the 2026 season, or a player opt-out after 2024
- George Kirby – After the 2028 season
- Logan Gilbert – After the 2027 season
They still have Marco through 2024, with an option in 2025. Flexen is signed with the team through 2023 on an $8 million option, and then it gets a bit confusing. He still has three years of arbitration, but with his departure for Korea and the eventual return to the MLB, it can be hard to discern what his status is.
That’s a long time to have what could be a dominant core to the rotation. With those four locked up, Julio on the books til the year 3000 (a joke), and a front office that looks willing to invest, it could help get another hitter here this offseason. I think we can all remember the offseason heading into 2022, when it truly seemed like hitters didn’t trust the team enough to come here.
Thanks to those signings, capped by the Luis Castillo one, it looks like they are turning a corner. I’m incredibly excited to have Castillo here, and it’s going to be a great run. La Piedra!