Late 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 substantial. The Reds acquired shortstops Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo and right-handed pitchers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore.
The two shortstops acquired were the Mariners’ two best prospects. In Baseball America’s most recent Top 100 Prospect list, updated last week, Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo were both in the top 50. Marte finished 47th and Arroyo was right behind him, finishing 48th . The two pitchers were both ranked as top-30 prospects in the Mariners organization, with Levi Stoudt landing at No. 10 in the midseason update and Andrew Moore at No. 26 on the list.
Noelvi Marte Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 1″ | weight: 187 pounds.
Born: October 16, 2001
Noelvi Marte, who retired from the Dominican Republic in 2018, is a huge bonus. He’s worked his way up to High-A in recent seasons. The 20-year-old has been hitting well in Everett and has a .275/.363/.462 line with 19 doubles, 15 homers and 13 stolen bases in 85 games this season. He has walked 42 times and has 84 strikeouts in 394 plate appearances.
He has above-average hit tool and plus-plus-plus raw power, a rarity coming from a potential future shortstop. There is some concern that he may need to move to third base as his physique matures as he has already added a lot of size over the years and he is still only 20 years old. That won’t be too much of a problem though, his arm will play easily on third base if he needs to slide over, and his racquet has more than enough potential to excel there if he’s able to continue developing.
He’s been burning in Everett for the last five weeks. As of June 22, he’s hit .365/.440/.669 with 15 walks and 20 strikeouts in 134 plate appearances. You can see his career stats here.
Scouting report by Edwin Arroyo
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 175 pounds.
Born: Aug. 25, 2003
Edwin Arroyo, a second-round pick for the Mariners last year, crushed the ball for Low-A Modesto this season when he was just 18. He has .315/.384/.513 with 18 doubles, 7 triples, 13 home runs, 21 stolen bases, 34 walks and 89 outs in 410 plate appearances. The switch-hitter was better from the left this season, hitting .329/.396/.520, but he also hit well from the right side of the plate, hitting a line of .276/.351/.494 plate appearances in 97.
Unlike Marte, there doesn’t seem to be any concern about Arroyo outgrowing the position. He is considered a plus defender at shortstops with a plus arm. He shows above average raw power and an above average hit tool. Arroyo was also quite successful on the basepaths, where he made good use of his above-average speed. You can see his career stats here.
Scouting report by Levi Stoudt
Right handed pitcher
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 195 pounds.
Born: December 4, 1997
Levi Stoudt, who was selected in the 2019 third round, did not appear in any professional game counting until 2021. After the draft he had surgery by Tommy John and with the 2020 season being called off there were no games for him as he was ready to return to the Mound until the start of the 2021 season. He’s struggled to find some consistency this season and after a solid start to the year for the first two months, he has posted a 6.98 ERA since early June, taking his on-season ERA to 5.28 in his 87.0 innings. He’s kept the walks low and only dealt 22 free cards to go along with his 82 strikeouts.
quickball: The pitch works in the mid-90s and has routinely touched the upper 90s this season.
splitter: It’s arguably his best offering, it’s above average pitch in the low to mid 80’s, that good move.
Slider: Mostly an average mid 80’s offering, it will flash above average from time to time.
curve ball: A fringed offering that works in the mid-70s.
There is good control from Stoudt but command isn’t always there and when he missed this year the batsmen didn’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 relieve high leverage. You can see his career stats here.
Scouting report by Andrew Moore
Right handed pitcher
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 205 pounds
Born: Aug. 11, 1999
Not to be confused with Andrew Moore, who played for Seattle in the major leagues a few seasons ago, this Moore was selected in the 14th round of Chipola Junior College last season (the same school Cam Collier attended this season). In 2021, he struggled with his control turning pro, going 18 batters with 16 strikeouts in 19.1 innings – mostly in Low-A Modesto. He’s returned there this season, and while he’s still a few shots too many, he’s otherwise dominated. In 32.1 innings, he posted a 1.95 ERA and conceded 25 hits, walked 17 and hit 58 of the 133 batters he faced.
quickball: Operated mid 90’s and has reached 100 MPH.
Slider: An above average offering that works in the mid to upper 80’s.
He’ll have to keep working on improving his control as he climbs the ladder, but the stuff will play. You can see his career stats here.
I hate this trade but believe it was a good return. How does this sentence make sense? Well I’ll do my best to explain.
Baseball is built in such a way that you no longer have to try to win baseball games to make money. It used to be like that. Teams needed gates big enough to cover all of their expenses because media deals and sponsorship deals just weren’t big enough to make up a large portion of the revenue, but those days are long gone. Now teams make a lot of money between local and national television deals, and that means ticket sales make up a much smaller percentage of their earnings. This means that winning and losing contributes less to making money. Cincinnati is currently undergoing its second rebuild in the last decade and the current financial situation makes that tangible. That’s why I hate trading. The Reds traded one of the best starting pitchers they’ve had in three decades because it makes more sense for them to try and not win next season.
With that tirade out of the way, it seems in today’s baseball market that the four prospects the Reds received in that deal were a quality return, and probably more than many expected. Getting two top 50 prospects in baseball would have been a deal that I would have thought a little better than I expected given the market over the past few years. Getting that as well as two other live weapons seems like a good win in the current market time.