Castillo, Mariners agree to $108M, 5-year deal through ’27

Sep 24, 2022, 12:57 AM | Updated: 4:00 pm
Seattle Mariners' Luis Castillo (21) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning o...

Seattle Mariners' Luis Castillo (21) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

SEATTLE (AP) — Right-hander Luis Castillo agreed to a $108 million, five-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that starts next season, giving up a chance to become a free agent after the 2023 World Series.

The deal announced Saturday includes an option for 2028 that could make the agreement worth $133 million for six seasons.

“I’ve very happy, very happy that I’m here,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “I thank God that he permitted me to be here a lot more. Hopefully I’m here for five or six more years.”

Castillo was the big trade deadline acquisition for the Mariners when they got him from Cincinnati. The hope was Castillo would be the difference in Seattle’s push to end the longest playoff drought in baseball and that the Mariners could convince him to stick around longer.

“Luis has been one of the top pitchers in MLB over the past six seasons,” Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto said. “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 is 7-6 with a 2.85 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 23 starts between Seattle and Cincinnati. Since joining the Mariners, he is 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 64 strikeouts in nine starts.

The 29-year-old Castillo was selected to the National League All-Star team in July for his second All-Star appearance.

Castillo has a $7.35 million salary this season, and his new deal includes a $7 million signing bonus payable within 60 days of the contract’s approval by the commissioner’s office. He gets salaries of $10 million in 2023 and $22.75 million annually from 2024-27.

Seattle has protection against an injury to the UCL in his pitching arm, a $5 million conditional option for 2028 that can be exercised only if from 2025-27 he is on the injured list for more than 130 consecutive days due to Tommy John surgery or an operation stemming from damage to the ligament.

If the conditional option specifications are not met, the contract includes a $25 million option for 2028 that would become guaranteed if Castillo pitches at least 180 innings in 2027 and an independent physician determines he doesn’t have an injury that would cause him to start 2028 on the injured list.

Castillo cannot be traded without his consent from 2023-25 and would receive a $1 million assignment bonus if dealt after that

He would get a $500,000 bonus for winning a Cy Young Award and $250,000 for second through fifth, $100,000 for World Series MVP, $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $100,000 for Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year, $50,000 for a Gold Glove or All-Star election and $25,000 for All-Star selection.

“I guarantee there’s nobody happier than me, signing a quality starter like that,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s been a great addition to our team, a great fit in our clubhouse. He’s been awesome on the field.”

Keeping Castillo creates a formidable rotation for Seattle into the future. Robbie Ray was Seattle’s big signing last offseason, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner getting a $115 million, five-year deal. Young right-handers Logan Gilbert and George Kirby have shown flashes of dominance throughout this season. Gilbert is under club control through 2027 and Kirby through 2029.

“I’m very happy with this rotation. Thank God we’re all healthy and doing a good job,” Castillo said. “Hopefully we can continue to work and see how far we can go the next few years.”

Castillo is the second major deal for the Mariners in the past month after locking up rookie slugger Julio Rodríguez last month to a $209.3 million, 12-year contract.

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AP freelance writer Marc Bowman in Kansas City contributed to this report.

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Castillo, Mariners agree to $108M, 5-year deal through ’27