For years, Jerry Dipoto’s front office covetedlouis castlefrom afar, long before he made it to the big leagues and became one of the game’s elite workhorses. And on Saturday, the Mariners’ president of baseball operations and his staff locked up the two-time All-Star on a long-term basis.
The club announced it has finalized a five-year contract extension that begins next season and runs through 2027. Both the club and the player have contract options that could extend the deal through ’28.
Here are the details, according to sources:
• The contract is worth $108 million, with an vesting option that could take the contract to six years and $133 million, triggered by $25 million by 2028 if he pitches at least 180 innings in 2027.
• Castillo received a $7 million signing bonus and will earn $10 million next season in what would have been his last year of eligibility forsalary arbitration. Then, from 2024-27, he will earn $22.75 million per season.
• Includes a full no-trade clause for the first three years, and no player exit options at any point during the deal.
• The club option is unique, basically giving the Mariners some health protection. It’s for one year and $5 million by 2028 and can only be exercised if Castillo has surgery to repair his UCL (Tommy John surgery) and misses at least 130 days anytime in 2025-27. He’s essentially a safety net for the club in case Castillo misses an extended stint and then returns to an elite level before he’s eligible for free agency.
“I feel great,” Castillo said in a statement. “Every baseball player wants a dream like this to come true. I am happy that I was able to achieve this with the Mariners and I want to thank everyone in the organization for treating me so well.”
Saturday’s announcement continues what has been a huge year of spending for Dipoto’s front office, not coincidentally, as the club seeks its first postseason berth since 2001. In December, Seattle signed the reigning Cy. Young of the American League, Robbie Ray, for a five-year, $115 million contract. , the richest of the Marinersat that momentunder Dipoto and one quite similar to Castillo’s. In April, the club signed shortstop JP Crawford with afive year extension. Then in Augustthey locked up Julio Rodríguez in a mega dealthat guarantees the star rookie $210 million and could become the richest in MLB history.
Castillo, who was acquired by the Mariners on July 30 in asuccessful swapwith Cincinnati before the trade deadline, he wasn’t eligible to hit free agency until after the 2023 season. He’s been everything they’d hoped for, posting a 2.83 ERA and 64 strikeouts, a franchise record for a pitcher in the first nine starts of his career with the Mariners. If they make it to the postseason, he’ll likely be their starter in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series, no matter who they play.
In addition, Castillo has developed into one of the best right-handers since making his Reds debut in 2017. Among pitchers 29 and younger in that span, he ranks fourth in the MLB with 924 strikeouts, fourth in innings (846 1 /3) and seventh. in strikeouts per nine innings (9.8).
“Luis has been one of the best pitchers in the MLB for the past six seasons,” Dipoto said in a statement. “He’s a dynamic power pitcher in the prime of his career with a history of consistency. Bringing him to Seattle represented a key moment in our ongoing efforts to build a roster of champions. Similarly, this agreement illustrates our continued commitment to the present and future of this team.”
The Mariners parted ways with three of their top five prospects to acquire Castillo, including infielder Noelvi Marte, the MLB Pipeline’s No. 17 overall, emptying out a chunk of their top-tier talent that they spent three years amassing and turning. in theNo. 2- ranked farm system.
But Castillo, in the eyes of the front office, was worth it, even if it would only keep him for a postseason boost in 2022 and a year after. Now, the Mariners say the arm they’ve been chasing for years will be the ace at the top of a rotation that’s been solidifying for years.