Late on Friday night the Cincinnati Reds officially traded starting pitcher Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. The right-handed starter was perhaps the best player on the trade market and the return from Seattle was sizable. The Reds acquired shortstops Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, as well as right-handed pitchers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore.
The two shortstops acquired were the Mariners top two prospects. In Baseball America’s most recent Top 100 prospect list that was updated this past week, Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo were both inside of the top 50. Marte ranked 47th and Arroyo was directly behind him and ranked 48th. The two pitchers were both rated as Top 30 prospects in the Mariners organization, with Levi Stoudt coming in at #10 in the midseason update and Andrew Moore at #26 on the list.
Noelvi Marte Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 187 lbs.
Born: October 16, 2001
A big bonus signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, Noelvi Marte has worked his way up to High-A over the past few seasons. The 20-year-old has hit well in Everett, posting a .275/.363/.462 line this season with 19 doubles, 15 home runs, and 13 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s walked 42 times and has 84 strikeouts in 394 plate appearances.
He has an above-average hit tool and plus to plus-plus raw power, a rarity coming from a potential future shortstop. There are some concerns that he may need to move to third base down the line as his body matures as he’s already added plenty of size over the years and he’s still just 20. That won’t be too much of a concern, though, as his arm will easily play at third base if he has to slide over and his bat has more than enough potential to stand out there if he is able to continue his development.
He’s been on fire over the last five weeks in Everett. Since June 22nd he’s hit .365/.440/.669 with 15 walks and 20 strikeouts in 134 plate appearances. You can see his career stats here.
Edwin Arroyo Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: August 25, 2003
Last year’s 2nd round pick for the Mariners, Edwin Arroyo has crushed the ball this season for Low-A Modesto while being just 18-years-old. He’s hit .315/.384/.513 with 18 doubles, 7 triples, 13 home runs, stolen 21 bases, walked 34 times, and he’s struck out 89 times in 410 plate appearances. The switch hitter has been better from the left side this season, hitting .329/.396/.520, but has hit well from the right side of the plate, too, posting a .276/.351/.494 line in 97 plate appearances.
Unlike Marte, there seems to be no concerns about Arroyo outgrowing the position. He’s considered a plus defender at shortstop with a plus arm. He shows above-average raw power and an above-average hit tool. Arroyo has also been quite successful on the basepaths where he’s used his above-average speed well. You can see his career stats here.
Levi Stoudt Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 195 lbs.
Born: December 4, 1997
A 3rd round pick in 2019, Levi Stoudt didn’t pitch in a professional game that counted until 2021. He underwent Tommy John surgery after the draft and with the 2020 season being cancelled there were no games there for him when he was ready to return to the mound until the 2021 season began. He’s battled to find some consistency this season, and after a solid start to the year in the first two months, he’s posted an ERA of 6.98 since the beginning of June, bringing his ERA on the season up to 5.28 in his 87.0 innings. He’s kept the walks low, handing out just 22 free passes to go along with his 82 strikeouts.
Fastball: The pitch works in the mid 90’s and has touched the upper 90’s routinely this season.
Splitter: Arguably his best offering, it’s an above-average pitch in the low-to-mid 80’s that good movement.
Slider: An average offering in the mid 80’s most of the time, it will flash above-average every so often.
Curveball: A fringy offering that works in the mid 70’s.
There’s good control from Stoudt, but the command isn’t always there and when he’s missed this year the hitters haven’t let him get away with it. There’s some upside here with the potential for three above-average pitches with good control and the fallback option could be a high leverage reliever. You can see his career stats here.
Andrew Moore Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 205 lbs
Born: August 11, 1999
Not to be confused with the Andrew Moore who pitched in the big leagues for Seattle a few seasons ago, this Moore was selected last season in the 14th round out of Chipola Junior College (the same school that Cam Collier attended this season). In 2021 he struggled with his control once turning pro, walking 18 batters with 16 strikeouts in 19.1 innings – mostly in Low-A Modesto. This season he returned there, and while he’s still walking a few too many hitters, he’s been dominate otherwise. In 32.1 innings he’s posted a 1.95 ERA and allowed 25 hits, walked 17, and he’s struck out 58 of the 133 batters he’s faced.
Fastball: Works in the mid 90’s and has touched 100 MPH.
Slider: An above-average offering that works in the mid-to-upper 80’s.
He’s going to need to continue working to improve his control as he moves up the ladder, but the stuff will play. You can see his career stats here.
I hate this trade but believe that it was a good return. How does that sentence make sense? Well, I’ll do my best to explain it.
Baseball is set up in a way in which you no longer need to try and win baseball games in order to make money. It used to be that way. Teams needed big enough gates to cover all of their expenses because media contracts and sponsorship deals simply weren’t big enough business to make up a big portion of revenue, but those days are long gone. Now teams make a whole lot of money between television contracts on the local and national levels and it means that ticket sales make up a much smaller percentage of their revenues. That means winning and losing means less towards making money. Cincinnati is currently in their second rebuild over the last decade, and the current financial set up makes that palpable. This is why I hate the trade. The Reds traded one of the best starting pitchers they’ve had in the last three decades because it makes more sense for them to try and not win next season.
With that rant out of the way, in the market as it stands in baseball today, it seems like the four prospects that the Reds got in this deal was a quality return and probably more than many would have expected. Getting two top 50 prospects in baseball would have been a deal that I would have considered a return that was a little better than I expected given the market over the past few years. That they got that, as well as two other live arms seems like a good get in the current time of the market.