ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Rays were finalizing another surprising trade Thursday night, sending Diego Castillo, one of their more reliable relievers, to the Mariners for right-hander JT Chargois and infield prospect Austin Shenton.
Dealing Castillo was unexpected, as the Rays are already missing several top relievers due to injuries, with Pete Fairbanks, Ryan Thompson, J.P. Feyereisen and Collin McHugh on the injured list.
Castillo, 27, is 2-4, with a 2.72 earned-run average and 14 saves.
Chargois, 30, is 1-0, 3.00 in 30 games this season for the Mariners, walking six and striking out 29 in 30 innings. Shenton, 23, is a lefty-hitting corner infield prospect from Florida International who moved up from Class A to Double-A this season, hitting a combined .300 with 12 homers, 61 RBIs and a .980 OPS.
But with the potential for all four injured relievers to return relatively soon, and with top reliever Nick Anderson, who has been out since spring, on a rehab assignment now, the Rays apparently felt comfortable dealing Castillo, who will be headed toward a hefty raise next season as he becomes eligible for arbitration.
Or they have plans to add to their bullpen, with Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel the top available option.
Having held extensive conversations and exchanged text messages with numerous teams over multiple scenarios, the Rays headed into Friday’s trade-deadline day prepared for a variety of options and outcomes.
Whether they make a key addition, and certainly a big one, will come down as usual to who is actually available and what the acquisition costs are in terms of players and financial impact.
But another factor may be the answers to some internal questions.
The Rays are considered to be in the market to add a starting pitcher.