As the 2022 trade deadline was approaching, most Mariners fans were thinking the same thing. “I hope they go out and get an impact player that can help the lineup.” Well, the Mariners definitely got an impact player, getting the second-biggest name moved at the deadline when they acquired Luis Castillo from the Reds.
It wasn’t the bat that the team needed, but the move gave the Mariners one of the best rotations in all of baseball. They had another Cy Young worthy pitcher on their staff, and Castillo looked poised to lead the team on the postseason chase.
Luis Castillo gets an A for his 2022 Mariners Report Card
The Mariners gave up a lot to get Castillo, leading a group of both fans and reporters to question the front office about potentially overpaying when they got him. Whether or not you think they did, there is something that you can’t really argue about.
He did exactly what the Mariners needed from him once they made it to the playoffs.
Against the Jays, he went 7.1 IP and gave up zero runs, allowing just six hits and hitting one batter. He shut down what might have been the most dangerous lineup in all of baseball, and got the Mariners their first playoff win in over two decades.
To me, for 2022 at least, it was 100% worth it. That’s what we all wanted. Was to watch a legit ace take the mound for the Mariners in the playoffs and deliver.
It made it even better for the Mariners when word came out that they had signed Luis Castillo to an extension. It seemed like quite the team-friendly extension, coming in at about $24 million per year (2023 is his final arb year, and less on the AAV), much lower than the low 30s AAV that many thought he would get. Once he signed, the Mariners had their top four starters locked up through 2024, and that would push to 2026 if Robbie Ray exercises his player option.
During the regular season, Castillo showed why he was an Ace. A 3.17 ERA and 2.91 FIP, with a WHIP of 1.102, a BB rate of 2.3/9, and a K rate of 10.6/9. He was even unlucky, as opposing hitters would field a .302 BABIP against him. He did have some rough starts, but the majority of his outings were pretty impressive once he got to Seattle.
Grabbing Luis Castillo was a great move for the Mariners, and one that looks to have panned out wonderfully so far. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Luis Castillo lead this rotation for his first full season with the team in 2023.