By Tim Booth, sports writer for the Associated Press
Seattle (AFP) – Right-hander Luis Castillo has agreed to a $108 million, five-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that begins next season, giving up a chance to become a free agent after the 2023 World Championships.
The deal announced Saturday includes an option for 2028 that could make the deal worth $133 million for six seasons.
“I am very happy, very happy to be here,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “I thank God that he has allowed me to be here so much more. I wish I could be here for another five or six years.”
Castillo was the big deadline trade takeover for the Mariners when they got him from Cincinnati. The hope was that Castillo would be the difference in Seattle’s quest to end baseball’s longest drought and that the Mariners could convince him to stay longer.
“Lewis has been one of the best bowlers in MLB for the past six seasons,” said Jerry DePoto, Mariners president of baseball operations. “He is a dynamic power shooter at the height of his career and has a proven track record of consistency. Bringing him to Seattle represents an important moment in our ongoing effort to build the Championship roster. Likewise, this deal demonstrates our continued commitment to the present and future of this team.”
Castillo is 7-6 with 2.85 ERA and 154 strokes in 23 starts between Seattle and Cincinnati. Since joining the Mariners, he’s 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 64 strokes in nine starts.
Castillo, 29, was named to the National League All-Star Team in July for his second All-Star appearance.
Castillo has earned his salary of $7.35 million this season, and his new deal includes a $7 million signing bonus paid within 60 days of the commissioner’s office agreeing to the contract. He earns a salary of $10 million in 2023 and $22.75 million annually from 2024 to 27.
Seattle has protection against a UCL injury to his arm, a conditional $5 million option for 2028 that can only be exercised if 2025-27 has been on the injured list for more than 130 consecutive days due to Tommy John’s surgery or an operation resulting in ligament damage.
If the conditional option specification is not met, the contract includes a $25 million option for 2028 that will become guaranteed if Castillo delivers at least 180 runs in 2027 and an independent doctor determines he does not have an injury that would make him start in 2028 on the injured list.
Castillo cannot be traded without his consent from 2023-25 and will receive a $1 million allocation bonus if dealt thereafter.
He will receive a bonus of $500,000 for winning Cy Young and $250,000 for second through fifth, $100,000 for World Series MVP, $50,000 for Leagues MVP, $100,000 for Rivera/Hoffman Loyalty of the Year, and $50,000 for Golden Glove or All- Election star and $25,000 to select all stars.
“I guarantee no one is happier than me, signing a junior contract like this,” said Seattle coach Scott Service. “He was a great addition to our team, and he is very relevant in our club. He has been fantastic on the field.”
Preserving the Castillo is creating a huge spin for the city of Seattle into the future. Robbie Ray was Seattle’s biggest signing last season, and the AL Cy Young winner took home $115 million for five years. Right-handers Logan Gilbert and George Kirby have shown flashes of dominance throughout this season. Gilbert is under club control until 2027 and Kirby until 2029.
“I am very happy with this rotation. Thank God we are all healthy and doing well,” Castillo said. “Hopefully we can keep working and see how far we can go in the next few years.”
Castillo is the Mariners’ second big deal in the past month after locking up rookie player Julio Rodriguez last month on a $209.3 million 12-year contract.
Associated Press freelance writer Mark Bowman of Kansas City contributed to this report.
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