The Seattle Mariners, looking to end a postseason drought that dates back to 2001, got the best arm on the trade market Friday night in a deal for a right-hander. Lewis Castle of the Cincinnati Reds.
The teams announced minor leaguers Noelvie Marte, Levi Stout, Edwin Arroyo and Andrew Moore to Cincinnati. Marte, a shortstop, was the highest-rated prospect on the team, with ESPN’s Kyle McDaniel ranking him the 12th best prospect in baseball prior to the season.
Mariners, led by star rookie Julio RodriguezEntering Friday at 54-46, they are 11 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the AL West for the second wild-card spot.
That would be a big pick-up for a Mariners team that hasn’t reached the postseason since 2001, the longest active drought among the four major North American pro sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL).
A 29-year-old right-hander, Castillo is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts for the Reds this season and has a 3.62 ERA in six seasons with Cincinnati.
Castillo won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season, so the Mariners will keep him at least through this year and into next year.
Castillo is coming off a career-worst season in 2021, when he struck out a league-high 75 batters in 16 games. His changeup has been his best pitch for most of his career, but this year, he’s really throwing his four-seam fastball more, and doing so with success. Opponents threw 39% of his swings against his 4-seamer, the highest rate of Castillo’s career and the highest rate of any pitcher in the majors (with at least 300 four-seamers thrown).
Castillo has a 1.38 ERA in four starts against the AL this year, second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw (0.69) among eligible pitchers.
The Reds have been moving experienced players for opportunities since the lockout ended earlier this year. In March, they traded Eugene Suarez And Jesse Winger to the Mariners, and Thursday, they traded the outfielder Tyler Nguyen and reliever Philip Diehl to the New York Mets.
They get the most out of Seattle in this trade, with Marte and Arroyo ranked among the team’s top 10 prospects ahead of the season by ESPN’s McDaniel.
Marte, 20, has spent the year hitting .275 with 15 home runs and a team-best 62 runs scored and 13 steals along with 55 RBIs entering Friday.
McDaniel ranked Arroyo as the shortstop and Seattle’s eighth-best prospect entering the season. The 18-year-old spent the season at Single-A Modesto, hitting .316 with 76 runs, 67 RBIs, 13 home runs and 21 steals.
Stout, a 24-year-old right-hander, is 6-6 with a 5.28 ERA in 18 starts at Double-A Arkansas this season.
The versatile Moore has spent the past four major league seasons in Seattle. He is hitting .197 with five home runs and 16 RBIs this year.
Cincinnati infielder Brandon Drury Several Reds relievers could be moved before Tuesday’s deadline.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.