The Mariners are extending their newest ace, inking two-time All-Star Luis Castillo to a five-year contract extension worth $108 million, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Both Seattle and Castillo hold options for the 2028 season.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal later backed Passan’s report, and Seattle confirmed the deal in a release Saturday afternoon.
“I feel great,” Castillo said. “Every baseball player wants to have a dream like this become a reality. I’m happy I was able to accomplish this with the Mariners and I want to thank everybody in the organization for treating me so well.”
Seattle’s newest ace, acquired ahead of MLB’s Aug. 2 trade deadline, owns a 2.83 ERA across nine Mariners starts, featuring 64 strikeouts to 13 walks. He oozes “supreme confidence” with a mound presence to verify it, manager Scott Servais said earlier this month.
The Mariners paid a hefty price to acquire the 29-year-old on July 30, sending a package of four prospects to Cincinnati that included No. 17 overall prospect Noelvi Marte and three of Seattle’s top-10 prospects in total.
Arguably the top starting pitcher on the summer trade market, Castillo was “certainly at the top” of Seattle’s list.
He struck out eight in his Mariners debut at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 3, and tied an American League record with seven strikeouts to begin a game versus the White Sox on Sept. 7.
In 23 combined starts between Seattle and Cincinnati in 2022, Castillo is 7-6 with a 2.85 ERA with 41 walks and 154 strikeouts. Of pitchers 29 and younger, Castillo’s 924 strikeouts since his 2017 debut rank fourth in all of baseball.
“Luis has been one of the top pitchers in MLB over the past six seasons,” president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in Saturday’s release. “He is a dynamic power pitcher in the prime of his career with a track record of consistency.
“Bringing him to Seattle represented a key moment in our ongoing efforts to build a championship roster. Similarly, this deal illustrates our continued commitment to both the present and future of this team.”
Castillo’s new extension includes a $5 million team option for the 2028 season if he requires UCL repair surgery between 2025-27, providing the Mariners with protection in case of injury.
A sixth-year vesting option would inflate the nine-figure deal to $133 million if Castillo pitches at least 180 innings in 2027, per Daniel Kramer of MLB.com.
Each of Seattle’s five starters are now signed through the 2024 season, and four of them are signed through at least 2025. The exception is reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, who could opt out of a five-year contract after three seasons.
Seattle controls starter Logan Gilbert’s contract through 2027. George Kirby, a blossoming rookie, remains in pre-arbitration.
Southpaw Marco Gonzales’ current deal runs through 2024 with a club option for 2025.
Castillo was set to hit free agency after the 2023 season.
“A pretty good pitcher signed for a few years,” Servais said Saturday, smiling. “It’s really good news. Outstanding. I know is Luis is very happy. I know the organization is very happy.
“There’s nobody happier than the manager. I guarantee you there’s nobody happier than me when you sign a quality starting pitcher like that.”