The Mariners swung a blockbuster trade with the Reds for right-hander Luis Castillo on Friday evening, sending 4 gamers — together with three of their prime 5 prospects — to Cincinnati to amass the 29-year-old, who was extensively thought of to be the very best pitcher obtainable.
The deal not solely improves Seattle’s postseason probabilities because it appears to be like to finish its 20-year drought — the longest lively playoff drought within the 4 main North American skilled sports activities — but additionally may have a wide-reaching affect on the remainder of the commerce market.
With three days to go earlier than Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET Commerce Deadline, let’s take a look at six main questions stemming from the Castillo commerce.
For up-to-the-minute commerce information, rumors and evaluation, tune in to MLB Community’s Commerce Deadline particular from 3-7 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The present can even stream dwell on MLB.com and within the MLB App.
1) Are the Mariners a postseason lock?
Via Friday, FanGraphs put the Mariners’ postseason odds at 76.7%, second to the Blue Jays (96.3%) amongst groups within the AL Wild Card image. Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projection system bumped the Mariners’ postseason probabilities as much as 84% after the commerce. They nonetheless aren’t a lock to make the playoffs with the AL West crown seemingly out of attain and so many groups bunched collectively within the AL Wild Card race, however this commerce is a step in the precise route as Seattle appears to be like to solidify its maintain on one of many Wild Card spots.
2) What does the AL Wild Card image seem like now?
The race for the three AL Wild Card spots is extremely shut, with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays, Guardians and Orioles all separated by 4 video games or fewer and the Purple Sox and White Sox within the combine as properly. If Toronto and Seattle proceed to separate themselves from the pack, 5 groups might be vying for one Wild Card spot.
3) What strikes can different AL Wild Card contenders make to counter?
The Blue Jays have the motivation and the prospects to make a giant commerce for a a lot wanted beginning pitcher — MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi lately talked about the Rangers’ Martín Pérez as a possible match if Texas makes him obtainable — and the injury-decimated Rays are prone to search a bat. (Maybe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras?) The White Sox and Guardians are available in the market for pitching assist, whereas the Orioles may choose to promote regardless of their shocking success this season. If the Purple Sox go for it, Nats first baseman Josh Bell would make sense, although Boston may discover itself within the seller category as properly.
4) How does this form the markets for different prime starters?
The demand for beginning pitchers already far outweighed the availability on this summer season’s commerce market, and the crop of accessible arms has solely been diminished additional. The Yankees, White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Brewers and Phillies are believed to be among the contenders seeking rotation help. With Castillo off the board, the highlight is now on the A’s Frankie Montas, the second-best pitcher in the marketplace after Castillo. Most of the groups that had been in on Castillo may shift their focus to Montas (the Yankees already have) driving up his price ticket.
We may additionally see elevated demand in secondary choices such because the Reds’ Tyler Mahle, the Angels’ Noah Syndergaard and the Pirates’ José Quintana. And with three days left earlier than the Commerce Deadline, the probabilities have elevated that at the very least one long-shot beginning pitcher commerce candidate — the Giants’ Carlos Rodón, the Marlins’ Pablo López and the Purple Sox’s Nathan Eovaldi — will draw a suggestion that’s too good to show down.
5) How does this affect the Soto market?
The Mariners had been mentioned to be one of many groups aggressively pursuing Nationals celebrity outfielder Juan Soto, however after parting with three of their prime 5 prospects within the Castillo deal, it will likely be tough for the M’s to provide you with a suggestion that satisfies Washington. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Nats have been asking for 5 or 6 prime prospects in trade for Soto. Per MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Padres, Cardinals and Dodgers are the three groups on the forefront of Soto commerce talks, with the Rangers concerned in some capability as properly.
Los Angeles was additionally one of many favorites for Castillo, however with the right-hander now not in play, the membership may have extra motivation to go after Soto somewhat than pursuing one of many different obtainable beginning pitchers, realizing its rotation will obtain a lift from the returns of Dustin May and Walker Buehler from the injured checklist previous to the postseason.
6) Might the Mariners nonetheless make different strikes?
Seattle improved its offense with the addition of Carlos Santana earlier in July and has now has addressed its rotation with its commerce for Castillo, however you possibly can by no means rely out normal supervisor Jerry Dipoto in relation to the commerce market. If the Mariners do make one other deal, it could make sense for the membership to focus on a reliever after Diego Castillo simply went on the IL. The membership additionally may use an offensive improve at second base over Adam Frazier (77 OPS+) and Abraham Toro (61 OPS+), however the choices are restricted.