Mariners, Luis Castillo agree to extension

The Mariners and Luis Castillo have agreed on a five-year, $108 million extension, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. There is a sixth-year vesting option that could bring the total to $133 million. Daniel Kramer of reports that the option will be unconditionally activated if Castillo throws at least 180 innings in 2027. Passan adds that the Mariners will receive a $5MM option for the 2028 season if Castillo undergoes a UCL repair procedure that will leave him missing more than 130 days between 2025 and 2027. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Castillo will make the first three years will have full no-trade protection. Castillo was set to become a free agent after the 2023 season, but will instead remain with the Mariners for at least another four years.

Castillo, 29, started his major league career with the Reds, establishing himself as a great starting pitcher. From his debut in 2017 through 2021, he made 123 starts and threw for a 3.72 ERA. That figure is all the more impressive given the hitter-friendly nature of Great American Ball Park, with both Statcast and ESPN second behind Coors Field in that division. He was able to achieve that level of success by hitting ground balls on 53.9% of batted balls while striking out 26.2% of batters, both numbers far better than the league average. He also showed adequate control, walking 8.8% of the batters who came at the plate, a figure that is roughly the league average. He produced 14.5 wins over the substitution in that time, according to FanGraphs, a figure that ranks in the top 20 of all pitchers in the league.

The most recent offseason got off to an ominous start for the Reds as general manager Nick Krall said the club must “align our payroll with our resources and continue to focus on scouting and developing young talent from our system” in Tucker’s wake Barnhart’s trade to the Tigers. Trade rumors immediately started swirling around Castillo, along with his rotational buddies Sonny Gray and Tyler Mahle. Gray was due to be handed out to Minnesota in March, but the Reds held onto Mahle and Castillo to start the year. Castillo was held back by some shoulder pain early in the camp, but returned to the hill in May and showed no rust in retaking the hill. Through 14 starts with Cincy, he had a 2.86 ERA, along with 47.1% on the ball, 25.8% strikeout rate, and 8% running speed.

More to come.

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