With only days until Major League Baseball’s August 1 non-waiver trade deadline, the first significant domino appears to have fallen. ESPN’s Buster Olney was the first to report (via Twitter) this morning that the Miami Marlins have reached a deal with the San Diego Padres to acquire right-hander Andrew Cashner. In addition to Cashner, the Marlins will reportedly receive right-handers Colin Rea and Tayron Guerrero. The return for the Padres is rather significant, as they will reportedly receive right-hander Jarred Cosart, Miami’s second-best propsect Josh Naylor, minor league right-hander Luis Castillo, and injured reliever Carter Capps. Nothing is official, as the deal is pending physicals.
This deal comes as little shock to anyone, as it’s hardly been a secret that the Padres were shopping Cashner — aggressively. In fact, San Diego was in talks with a number of other teams aside from the Marlins, including the Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, and Baltimore Orioles. As of yesterday, the Orioles were said to be “trying hard” to get a deal done. Late last night though, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports had tweeted out that the Marlins and Rangers were the current leaders for Cashner.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2016
Texas’ time wasn’t long-lived, as MLB.com Rangers reporter TR Sullivan tweeted out not long after, that sources told him that the Rangers were not the team getting Cashner, thus leaving the Marlins to acquire his services.
Sources say Rangers are not the ones getting Andrew Cashner
— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) July 29, 2016
Cashner, 29, hasn’t exactly enjoyed the best season of his career this year. In fact, if the season were to end today, he would finish with one of the worst seasons in his career. Through 79.1 innings of work, Cashner is 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA. The right-hander also owns a 67:30 K:BB ratio. Over his career, Cashner has only had one winning season, which occurred in 2013 when he went 10-9 with a 3.09 ERA. Aside from that season, three out of Cashner’s four other seasons have all seen his ERA finish north of 4.00. The only other exception came in 2014, when Cashner recorded a 2.55 ERA in 123.1 innings pitched.
For Miami, this is a solid move. Despite his shaky track record, the Marlins add a solid, young starter to a relatively weak rotation. Aside from Jose Fernandez, the Marlins have been relying on Wei-Yin Chen, Adam Conley, Cosart, Tom Koehler, and Jose Urena. Cashner’s not the only starting pitcher that Miami has been targeting, as they’ve been extremely aggressive in their pursuit for help. Currently sitting five games out of first place in the NL East, and tied for the final Wild Card spot, the Marlins clearly felt that a move was necessary to strengthen an uncertain rotation.
The Marlins were also able to add an insurance policy in Rea. The 26-year-old right-hander has pitched decently this season. Through 99.1 innings, Rea owns a 5-5 record with a 4.98 ERA. Last season, he went 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA in 31.2 innings. Rea was rated as the Padres number-five prospect entering the season, according to SBNation’s Minor League Ball.
In Guerrero, the Marlins are getting a kid with a big arm. His fastball hovers around 98-100 mph, and he also possesses a solid slider. Many project him to develop into a closer.
Meanwhile, the Padres got themselves quite a king’s ransom. The 26-year-old Cosart has been solid to begin his major-league career. The 2014 season was his best, going 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA in 180.1 innings pitched. This season, though, he’s 0-1 with a 5.95 ERA in only 19.1 innings of work.
The “big fish” of the deal (no pun intended) is top prospect Josh Naylor. The 19-year-old first-base prospect has drawn comparisons to Prince Fielder. Naylor has huge power potential. He’s currently hitting .269 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs in 370 plate appearance for Single-A Greeensboro. At the young age of 19, Naylor already projects as a middle-of-the-lineup force.
The Marlins also added a pair of young arms in Castillo and Capps. Castillo, 23, has pitched pretty well since beginning his pro career in 2012 with the San Francisco Giants. In his career, Castillo is 16-15 with a 2.71 ERA. He’s well on his way to the best year of his career, pitching his way to a 7-3 record with a 2.25 ERA in 100 innings pitched.
The final piece of the deal was relief pitcher Carter Capps. Capps, 25, is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. Prior to his injury, though, Capps was challenging for the Marlins’ closer gig. In 31 innings pre-injury, Capps went 1-0 with a 1.16 ERA.
Following this move, it’s not clear if Miami’s work is done, but they’ve also been linked to names such as Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson, Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran, Kansas City’s Edinson Volquez, and Matt Shoemaker of the Los Angeles Angels. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted (click here) yesterday that rival executives were getting the feeling that Miami was “desperate” to add a starting pitcher.
With a little more than 72 hours until the trade deadline on Monday, this could just be the beginning of the chaos that we see come Monday afternoon.