The Seattle Mariners have locked up another member of their core. The Mariners and right-hander Luis Castillo have agreed to a five-year contract extension from 2023-2027 with an option for 2028. team announced Saturday afternoon. The guaranteed value of the deal is $108 million, and the maximum amount can be $133 million. reports ESPN.
“Luis has been one of the best pitchers in MLB over the past six seasons,” said Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. “He is a dynamic power pitcher in the prime of his career with a consistent track record. Bringing him to Seattle has been a key part of our ongoing effort to build a championship roster. Likewise, this deal illustrates our continued commitment to both the current and future of this team.”
It should be noted that Castillo’s contract includes a Tommy John operation clause. according to ESPN. Should Castillo need an elbow reconstruction at some point between 2025-27, the Mariners will receive a $5 million club option for the 2028 season. John Lackey had a similar clause in his Boston Red Sox contract and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery.
“I feel great,” Castillo said in a statement. “Every baseball player wants that dream to become a reality. I am happy that I was able to achieve this with the Mariners and I want to thank everyone in the organization for treating me so well.”
Castillo, 29, was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade for four prospects at the August deadline. He was scheduled to become a free agent after 2023, so the five-year extension buys out his final year of arbitration plus four years of free agency with an option for a fifth year. The average annual cost of $21.6 million would be the 15th highest among active starting pitchers.
The Mariners now have the top four starters through 2025. Castillo joins Robbie Ray, who signed a five-year, $115 million free agent last offseason, as well as young right-handers Logan Gilbert and George Kirby. Gilbert and Kirby and under the control of the team until 2027 and 2028, respectively. Lefty Marco Gonzalez is also signed until 2024.
A two-time All-Star, Castillo has a 2.85 ERA in 23 starts and 154 innings this year, including a 2.83 ERA in nine starts and 54 innings with Seattle. He’s been one of the best starting pitchers in the last few seasons, and the Mariners signed him to a contract that looks like a team contract in his best years. And, of course, Castillo receives a salary that changes his life.
Castillo became the fourth Mariners player to sign a long-term contract in the past 10 months. Last December, Andrés Munoz signed a four-year, $7.5 million extension; in January, shortstop JP Crawford signed a five-year, $51 million extension; and superstar center fielder Julio Rodriguez signed a 12-year, $210 million extension in August.
The Mariners enter the game on Saturday with an 82-68 record. They are currently ranked third in the wild-card rankings, three games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Seattle has not competed in the postseason since Ichiro became a rookie in 2001. This is the longest post-season drought in North American sports.