Luis Castillo is heading to the Pacific Northwest to be re-united with former Cincinnati Reds teammates Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez. Jeff Passan of ESPN broke the news that the Seattle Mariners were finalizing a deal to acquire the Reds ace at 10:21pm. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times is reporting that Cincinnati will be acquiring four minor league players, including their top prospect Noelvi Marte.
Castillo will be a free agent after the 2023 season, but Cincinnati felt that now was the right time to move him. The right-handed starter was perhaps the biggest name and best player on the trade market and it certainly seems that the Reds were able to get Seattle to pay a big prospect price. The 2-time All-Star has made 14 starts this season with a 2.86 ERA. In his six seasons with the Reds since being acquired for Dan Straily prior to the 2017 season, Castillo has made 137 starts and compiled a 3.62 ERA in 792.1 innings while racking up 860 strikeouts.
This trade signals that Cincinnati isn’t looking to truly compete in 2023, but building for a date to be determined in the future. There’s just no likely path forward for next season that would be a better one without Castillo and with the prospects acquired in the deal. That isn’t to say that the deal isn’t the right one for the long term future, but it is one that makes it incredibly difficult to see a path to contention for the Reds next year, too.
Coming back in the deal from Seattle is four minor leaguers and it’s a big return for the Reds. Noelvi Marte was the Mariners top rated prospect according to Baseball America. Edwin Arroyo was their second rated prospect. Both are coming over in the deal. They’ll be joined by Levi Stoudt, who was their 10th rated prospect, and Andrew Moore who was their 26th rated prospect.
It’s Noelvi Marte that headlines this deal. The 20-year-old shortstop was ranked as the 47th overall prospect in baseball just a few weeks ago by Baseball America. He’s a 5-tool player with above-average hitting ability, plus power potential. Defensively he’s got a chance to stick at shortstop, but there’s more than enough bat if he has to move to third base in the long run.
Edwin Arroyo is another shortstop and the 18-year-old is crushing the ball in Low-A this season. Last year’s 2nd round draft pick (48th overall) is hitting .315/.384/.513 with 21 stolen bases, 18 doubles, 7 triples, and 13 home runs in 86 games played. On Baseball America’s mid-season update he was rated just behind Marte and was 48th on their Top 100 list.
Levi Stoudt has had some struggles this year in Double-A. His ERA is sitting at 5.28 in 87.0 innings where he’s walked 22 batters to go along with 82 strikeouts in 18 starts. The righty throws in the mid-to-upper 90’s with a good change up and two solid breaking balls.
Andrew Moore is a reliever in his first full season after being drafted last season. He’s dominated in Low-A, posting a 1.95 ERA in 32.1 innings where he’s walked 17 and struck out 58. He’s shown both a good fastball and breaking ball this year.