Posted on July 29, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
The fire sale the San Diego Padres have been holding all summer continued Friday morning, and this time the beneficiaries were the Miami Marlins. The Marlins, desperate to add starting pitching, have acquired pitchers Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea, and Tayron Guerrero from the Padres in exchange for pitchers Jarred Cosart and Carter Capps, first base prospect Josh Naylor, and pitching prospect Luis Castillo.
Miami’s rotation has struggled to find consistency all season outside of Jose Fernandez and Adam Conley, and things got worse over the weekend when Wei-Yin Chen was placed on the DL. The additions of both Cashner and Rea should help immensely. Cashner, who will be a free agent after the season, has become one of the most sought after starting pitchers on the market, with several teams inquiring about his availability. Meanwhile, Rea is a young starter in his first full season in the big leagues after making his debut with the Padres last season. He is 5-5 with a 4.98 ERA, and remains under team control through the 2021 season. As for Guerrero, he has made just one big league appearance for the Padres, spending most of the season putting up modest numbers pitching out of the bullpen.
Cashner and Rea should immediately join Miami’s rotation, providing depth behind Fernandez and Conley, while pushing Jose Urena back to the bullpen. The Marlins are hopeful that Chen will be able to rejoin the rotation at some point, giving them a solid five-man rotation that on paper would look much better than the rotation Miami has used for much of the season.
From San Diego’s perspective, trading Cashner had become a given, but moving a young, controllable pitcher like Rea was somewhat surprising, as he could have continued to hold a spot in the back end of San Diego’s rotation for years to come. Of course, they will get Cosart in return, although he has had a rough season, spending much of it either injured or in the minors. The Padres have also added Capps, who was a big part of Miami’s bullpen last year but is sitting out 2016 due to Tommy John surgery. He’s under contract through 2018 and could become a big part of San Diego’s bullpen starting next season.
The Padres also get two of the better prospects in a rather mediocre Miami farm system. Naylor was Miami’s first round pick in 2015 and has spent the entire season at full-season A-ball despite having just turned 19 in June. He has plus-plus raw power and the potential to hit 30 or more home runs in the majors year after year if he reaches his ceiling. He’s hitting .269 with nine home runs and 24 doubles this year, although he’s at least two or three years away from the majors.
Castillo is a 23-year old power arm whose fastball sits in the mid 90s and has been clocked in the triple digits. He’s posted a 2.25 ERA in advanced-A this season, pitching mostly as a starter. Some question whether he has the durability, control, and secondary stuff to remain a starter long term. However, Castillo’s fastball and promising slider should play at the back end of a bullpen. Of course, he’s yet to reach double-A and likely a couple years away from the big leagues.
As has been the case for most of San Diego’s trades this summer, the Padres will wait a few years to if the prospects they acquired will pan out. Meanwhile, the Marlins are hoping the boost to the rotation will be enough to propel them to the playoffs. Miami is currently five games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East, but they currently tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot, with the Mets and Pirates not far behind. The additions of Cashner and Rea to the rotation may just be what makes the difference for the Marlins this year and gets them into the postseason.