The Mariners made one of the biggest splashes of last summer’s trade deadline when they brought in Luis Castillo from the Reds. The deal sent out four prospects, including two players generally regarded among the top 100 minor league talents in Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo. At the time, Castillo was in his penultimate season of arbitration eligibility, but the M’s foreclosed any chance of him departing anytime soon. In September, the righty signed a five-year, $108MM extension that runs through 2027.
Castillo recently looked back on the pair of transactions, telling Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer he’d initially hoped to sign a long-term deal to stay in Cincinnati. “I can’t really say anything because that’s obviously negotiations between the team and my agent,” he told Nightengale via interpreter. “Of course, I would’ve liked to stay. I had a family there and was there quite some time.” The two-time All-Star added he acclimated to Seattle more quickly than he’d anticipated, however, pointing to the presence of former Cincinnati teammates Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker on the Mariners roster.
The Reds and Castillo had discussed extension parameters before the trade, though general manager Nick Krall told reporters after the swap that the sides hadn’t been close. That wasn’t surprising, as Cincinnati has gone into a rebuild over the past couple seasons and shipped out a number of big leaguers for further off young talent. Seattle is firmly in win-now mode, with Castillo joining Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert and George Kirby in a strong front four.
In other situations out of Seattle:
- Outfield prospect Cade Marlowe recently suffered a right oblique strain, he told reporters this afternoon (relayed by Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times). The 25-year-old described the strain as very mild but will soon meet with training staff to determine a recovery plan. Even minor oblique strains can sideline players for multiple weeks, so the injury could delay Marlowe’s big league debut. A left-handed hitter, he raked at a .291/.380/.483 clip with 20 home runs and 36 stolen bases through 120 Double-A contests last season. Marlowe secured a late-season call to Triple-A and garnered some consideration for a depth role at the MLB level headed into the postseason. That never transpired, though Marlowe was added to the 40-man roster over the winter and figures to debut at some point during the upcoming campaign. Seattle has Julio Rodríguez and Teoscar Hernández locked into two outfield spots, with Jarred Kelenic and AJ Pollock presumably set for a platoon in the final position. The M’s will already be without Taylor Trammell well into the season after he underwent hand surgery last month.
- There’s another injury further down the outfield depth chart. Divish tweets that non-roster outfielder Jack Larsen fractured a hamate bone in his hand and will undergo surgery. The 28-year-old Larsen spent most of last season in Double-A, where he hit .269/.371/.407 with an excellent 13.6% walk percentage across 528 plate appearances. He earned the briefest of big league promotions, appearing in one game and striking out in his only MLB at-bat. Seattle ran him through outright waivers in August, keeping him in the upper minors without a 40-man roster spot. Larsen wasn’t likely in consideration for an Opening Day role but he’d have served as a depth possibility if healthy. He’ll surely start the season on the minor league injured list now.