9:23 p.m.: The Mariners finalize an agreement to acquire Luis Castillo of the Reds, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link). Assuming a deal crosses the finish line, it will be the biggest splash in the trade market so far.
Castillo is perhaps the market price of starting pitchers. He has been among the game’s top trade candidates for months, with the latest Reds still likely to pull the trigger on a deal this summer. The right-hander has been one of the best pitchers in the sport over the past few seasons, and he’s been working at the top of his game over the past two months.
After missing a few weeks with shoulder pain to open the year, Castillo made his season debut in early May and looked like a bona fide arm at the top of the rotation. He made 14 starts and worked 85 innings, pitching to a 2.86 ERA despite playing at home in one of the league’s most hitting-friendly parks. Castillo hit a solid 25.8 percent of opposing batters against a solid 8 percent walk rate. This season’s 47.1% grounding percentage is down a bit from its 2019-21 levels, but it’s still a few points better than the league average.
This kind of top-end production is what we’ve come to expect from Castillo, who has established himself as one of the sport’s top arms over recent seasons. He has posted a sub-4.00 ERA in each of the last four seasons, carrying a cumulative mark of 3.49 in 91 starts since the start of the 2019 campaign. This is the 24th among 98 starters qualified during the this period. His 26.8% strikeout rate ranks 23rd in this group, while his 54.8% rushing percentage checks in at 7th.