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Mariners beat Diego Castillo in first arbitration decision

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Seattle Mariners won the first salary arbitration decision of the year over relief pitcher Diego Castillo, who will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

Richard Bloch, Melinda Gordon and Brian Keller made the decision Wednesday, a day after hearing arguments.

A 29-year-old right-hander who made $2.15 million last season, Castillo was 7-3 with a 3.64 ERA and seven saves in 59 relief appearances, striking out 53 and walking 22 in 54 1/3 innings. The Mariners made the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and lost to eventual World Series champion Houston in the division series.

Castillo signed with the Rays in 2014 and pitched for Tampa Bay from 2018 until he was traded to Seattle in July 2021. He is 24-18 with a 3.12 ERA and 35 saves in five major league seasons and is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series.

Outfielder Teoscar Hern√°ndez, acquired by the Mariners from the Toronto Blue Jays, remains on track for a hearing. He asked for a raise from $10.65 million to $16 million, and Seattle offered $14 million.

Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe and Los Angeles argued the first case of the year Monday in a decision that is being held for later announcement. He asked for a raise from $7.65 million to $11.9 million, and the Angels argued for $11.25 million.

Twenty-four players remain scheduled for hearings, to take place through Feb. 17.