Dipoto: Mariners’ Julio extension ‘fired up’ Luis Castillo to sign long-term
The Mariners have made a few massive moves this year, and two of them involve the same player.
Not only did Seattle swing a deal for two-time All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo, but the Mariners inked the 29-year-old right-hander to a lucrative extension that keeps him with the organization through 2027 and potentially 2028 while paying him more than $100 million.
According to Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto, Castillo’s extension came together in part because of another big move the team made shortly after Castillo’s arrival.
During the latest Jerry Dipoto Show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, Dipoto shared with Brock and Salk what led to Castillo’s new deal with the Mariners.
First off, when did the Mariners decide they wanted to extend Castillo, whose contract when Seattle acquired him in a July trade had him signed through the end of the 2023 season?
“Shortly before we traded for him,” Dipoto said. “To be fair, when we were making that deal, this is something that we always had in mind was the notion of keeping Luis here in Seattle for as long as we could. And once we got a chance to know him and watch him integrate in our clubhouse and watch what comes out of his hand every fifth or sixth day, it was a no-brainer. And credit to Luis for transitioning easily from Cincinnati to Seattle.”
Dipoto made sure to give credit to Mariners assistant general manager Justin Hollander and Rafa Nieves, Castillo’s agent, for getting “a very fair deal done.”
“And good for the Mariners. It’s been a great year for us in building foundation for not just 2022, but the years ahead,” Dipoto said, “and Luis is gonna be a big part of that and I’m pretty excited about it.”
So it’s obvious why the Mariners were open to extending Castillo as soon as possible, but when did Castillo decide he wanted to be a Mariner for the foreseeable future? According to Dipoto, fellow All-Star Julio Rodríguez played a role. Or rather, the megadeal he signed in August did.
“Justin and I sat down with Rafa, who represents Luis, two days prior to finishing up and announcing Julio’s deal,” Dipoto recalled. “We had started the conversation about this, ‘Is this a conversation for September? Is it a conversation for the offseason? Is it something you’d rather talk about in the spring? Or is it a non-factor for you (and you’re) just gonna play it out?’ And he said, ‘I’ll talk to Luis and see where it’s going.'”
Well, two days later, word came out that Rodríguez was signing a lucrative deal with the Mariners, potentially paying him $470 million through 2039.
“And 48 hours later we announced the Julio deal and Rafa called and he said, ‘Luis is fired up,'” Dipoto said. “And during that time we were playing exciting series, we were in the middle of the Ichiro weekend with the Guardians as I recall, and (had) full houses (at T-Mobile Park), and there’s really never been a more exciting time than late summer to be a Mariner. And that wave of emotion and then finishing off the Julio deal, (Castillo) said, ‘This is the place I want to be, this team wants to win.’ And we got a deal done shortly thereafter.”
The Jerry Dipoto Show airs live at 8:30 a.m. every Thursday during Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports 710 AM. You can listen to a podcast of this week’s edition at this link or in the player below.