The Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners are finalizing an agreement that would send reliever Diego Castillo to the Pacific Northwest for fellow right-hander JT Chargois and infield prospect Austin Shenton. The Rays are taking an opportunity to both acquire an arm and restock their farm system.
Chargois should step into Castillo’s high-leverage spot in the stable. The 30-year-old may not have Castillo’s “stuff”, yet he’s been perhaps as effective this season, pitching to a 3.00 ERA and 3.19 FIP across 30 innings for the Mariners, with a 0.97 WHIP and a 4.83 K/BB.
Chargois seems to have figured out the control problems that plagued him early on, boasting a 5.1% walk rate this season after posting a double-digit percentage between 2015 and 2019 while bouncing between Triple-A and the big leagues with the Twins and Dodgers. He leans heavily on an 87 mph slider, which he throws 69% of the time, and a 96-97 mph sinker which he utilizes more heavily against right-handers. Chargois is a worm-killing hurler, coaxing ground balls at a 45% clip. He’s limited opponents to a .217 average overall, while lefties are only hitting .184 against him thus far. Put in layman’s terms, Chargois throws strikes and gets a ton of ground balls.
As for Castillo, the righty went 2-4 with a 2.72 ERA and a 3.16 FIP, with a 0.99 WHIP and a 4.90 K/BB across 36.1 innings. If you are saying to yourself, “those numbers look similar to those of Chargois,” you would be correct. Yet, even though Diego has been a dependable reliever in the Rays’ ‘pen, he has shown a consistent decline in fastball velocity, which has dropped from 98.2 mph in 2019 to 94.9 mph in 2021. That could be something the team views as a red flag for the hurler … something that preceded the trade.
23-year-old infielder Austin Shenton was the Mariners’ 12th-ranked prospect according to Baseball America. Shenton started the season in High-A before earning a promotion to Double-A where he slashed .295 BA/.418 OBP/.576 SLG/.994 OPS line over 273 plate appearances. While he has played primarily at third base, he has also seen time at first and second, as well as DH. In two minor league seasons, Shenton owns a .299 BA/.399 OBP/.542 SLG/.941 OPS line with 19 home runs and 97 RBI in 120 games.