Reds acquire 4 Mariners prospects for Luis Castillo

CINCINNATI — The Reds had no shortage of suitors who wanted to try to acquire rotation ace Luis Castillo as Tuesday’s trade deadline approached at 6 p.m. ET. General Manager Nick Krall made the move Friday night.

Castillo was traded to the Mariners for four Minor League prospects, including three who were ranked in the top five in Seattle’s organization at the time of the trade.

“We liked the high-end players, also with some depth in the deal. I would say we had 10 to 15 teams that were at a certain level,” Krall said after a 6-2 Defeat of the Reds to the Orioles. “We tried to bring back the best players we could. We felt that was the best return we could get for Luis and the best we could do. We really like all four players and think all four players have a chance to be potential big leaguers.

Castillo, 29, is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts this season and was named to the National League All-Star Team for the second time earlier this month. He joined the Reds in a January 2017 trade that sent veteran starting pitcher Dan Straily to the Marlins.

“Luis is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in this clubhouse. Great guy, great pitcher. Family man. It’s really great to have him here for as long as we have him. done,” Krall said. “But at the end of the day, we had to improve in the long run. We felt that those four players were going to help us do that.

In his last start Wednesday against the Marlins, Castillo threw seven good innings and knocked out the team in the seventh before being sent off with a standing ovation from Reds fans at Great American Ball Park.

“It was a great experience,” Castillo said via translator Jorge Merlos. “The staff, the team, everyone I was able to connect with. Having my name in the mouths of fans and having them cheering me on and saying things about me is something I will forever cherish. I won’t forget it.

With Castillo earning $7.35 million in 2022 and set to be a free agent after the 2023 season, the Reds were rumored to be moving the right-hander since before spring training.

“Obviously it’s good to know where I’m going now, but I didn’t want to leave,” Castillo said. “I’ve created a family here. It’s the team that gave me the opportunity to play first. We’ll see what happens in Seattle and we’ll see what the team is like.”

Marte, 20, was Seattle’s top prospect and is ranked as the No. 18 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline. He hit .270 with an .820 OPS, 15 home runs and 55 RBIs in 84 games with High-A Everett. Arroyo, 18, was the Mariners’ third prospect and is the Prospect #93 overall. He was Seattle’s second-round pick in the 2021 draft and hit .316 with .899 OPS, 13 homers and 67 RBI at Single-A Modesto.

Prior to the trade, Cincinnati was already brimming with shortstop depth that includes prospects Elly Cruz (Reds No. 3 prospect), Matt McLain (#4) and Jose Barrero.

“We have guys who are top athletes, potentially mid-range bats,” Krall said of the new shortstops. “They can strike anywhere in order. These are guys we really, really like and we’ll have to figure that out as we progress through the levels.

Stoudt, 24, was ranked as Seattle’s No. 5 prospect and was a third-round pick in the 2019 draft. He was 6-6 with a 5.28 ERA in 18 starts for Double-A Arkansas.

“We saw it in the spring,” Krall said. “He’s a guy we potentially liked as part of the [Jesse] Flashing package [in March]. It was great to be able to have it. He has a shot at being a Major League starter.

Moore, who turns 23 next month, was a 14th-round selection in the 2021 draft. He had a 1.95 ERA in 25 relief appearances for Modesto.

“Explosive, explosive stuff,” Krall said. “Fastball is up to 102 [mph] with a slider plus. He’s trying to get him to exploit it and be the best pitcher he can be.

The Reds, who have slashed their wage bill, have offloaded veterans since the offseason and continued to care for several veteran players during spring training. They too traded outfielder Tyler Naquin to the Mets for a pair of minor leaguers on Thursday, and more moves are expected before Tuesday’s deadline.

Even though Castillo’s move was expected, it was still hard to say goodbye as the team learned he was heading to Seattle after Friday’s game.

“I don’t know if you can ever really be ready for that. He will be missed,” manager David Bell said. “Everyone in the clubhouse and the organization, he contributed so much. I hope he knows that. I tried to tell him. I tried to thank him for all his contributions on the pitch , at the clubhouse and in the community. Him, just being exactly who he is, there’s no doubt that he’s inspired me to be a better person. I think he’s inspired a lot of people around Cincinnati. Definitely in this room. He couldn’t have done more.”

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