What’s the impact of the Luis Castillo trade?

What’s the impact of the Luis Castillo trade?

Published July 31, 2022
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The Mariners swung a blockbuster trade with the Reds for right-hander Luis Castillo on Friday night, sending four players — including three of their top five prospects — to Cincinnati to acquire the 29-year-old, who was widely considered to be the best pitcher available.

The deal not only improves Seattle’s postseason chances as it looks to end its 20-year drought — the longest active playoff drought in the four major North American professional sports — but also could have a wide-reaching impact on the rest of the trade market.

1) Are the Mariners a postseason lock?Through Friday, FanGraphs put the Mariners’ postseason odds at 76.7%, second to the Blue Jays (96.3%) among teams in the AL Wild Card picture. Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projection system bumped the Mariners’ postseason chances up to 84% after the trade. They still aren’t a lock to make the playoffs with the AL West crown likely out of reach and so many teams bunched together in the AL Wild Card race, but this trade is a step in the right direction as Seattle looks to solidify its hold on one of the Wild Card spots.

2) What does the AL Wild Card picture look like now?The race for the three AL Wild Card spots is incredibly close, with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays, Guardians and Orioles all separated by four games or fewer and the Red Sox and White Sox in the mix as well. If Toronto and Seattle continue to separate themselves from the pack, five teams could be vying for one Wild Card spot.