Dominican right-hander louis castle and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a five-year, $108 million contract extension that will keep the pitcher acquired at the trade deadline as part of the core of the rising team for the foreseeable future, the team announced Saturday.
The contract, which includes a team option that could bring his total value to $133 million, buys four years of free agency for the 29-year-old, who has been dominant in eight starts since joining Seattle before the deadline. August 2 trades. In 54 innings, Castillo struck out 64, walked 13 and allowed just five home runs while posting a 2.83 ERA, even better than the 2.86 ERA he posted in 14 starts with the Cincinnati Reds and a key element in helping push the Mariners to the edge of his ticket to the playoffs in 21 years.
A two-time All-Star, Castillo will be paid annually among the top echelon of pitching. The deal includes a $7 million signing bonus, a $10 million salary for next season, when he was due to earn about $12 million in his final arbitration season before hitting free agency, and annual salaries of $22.75 million beginning in 2024. until 2027.
The contract also includes a sixth-year option variation. If Castillo has elbow surgery, including Tommy John surgery, to address an issue with the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in the 2025, 2026 or 2027 seasons that causes him to miss at least 130 days, the Mariners will receive a club option for $5 million in 2028.
His 2028 $25 million option would kick in if he pitches at least 180 innings in 2027, and Castillo will receive a full no-trade clause for the 2023-2025 seasons with a $1 million assignment bonus if he moves after that.
Castillo’s deal continues a breakout year of spending for the Mariners, who signed the AL Cy Young winner this winter. robbie ray in free agency for five years and $115 million and the all-star rookie Julio Rodriguez with a deal that guarantees him at least $209.3 million, and will almost certainly be worth more, depending on his performance and its effect on potential options.
Since Castillo’s first start for Seattle on Aug. 3, the Mariners have the third-best ERA for a starter in the majors at 3.04 and second-best in the American League behind division rival Houston. Between Castillo, Ray, Logan Gilbert 25 years old and George Kirby 24-year-old, the Mariners’ plethora of starters, backed by an equally excellent bullpen — which during that same stretch has the fourth-best ERA in the majors at 2.63 — makes them a potentially terrifying playoff team.
Castillo is expected to start Game 1 of a possible playoff series. At 81-67, the Mariners are the third and final wild card in the American League and have a four-game lead over the next closest team, Baltimore. If that holds, Seattle would play a best-of-three wild-card series at Cleveland, currently in first place in the AL Central.
Seattle looked for an impact arm at the deadline and paid a heavy price for Castillo, giving Cincinnati its top two prospects in shortstops Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo along with starter Levi Stoudt and reliever Andrew Moore.
Castillo had been traded four times before landing in Cincinnati, where his explosive two-seam fastball and solid slider and changeup propelled him to the front of the Reds’ rotation. During six seasons with Cincinnati, Castillo went 47-54 with a 3.62 ERA and a nearly 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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Seattle and Castillo agree to an extension for $108 million