You want to be upset.
Miami acquired veteran reliever Fernando Rodney from the Padres in exchange for Single-A prospect Chris Paddack on Thursday afternoon, and you want to be upset.
The Marlins are in contention. The Marlins are adding to their payroll. The Marlins are adding major league players and not sacrificing any player on their major league roster.
You want to question why the Marlins moved their eighth round draft pick from last season in exchange for a 39-year old reliever that at the most will remain with club through 2017. But that’s not the broad perspective.
By adding Rodney to a bullpen, which has already been plagued by injuries to Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris and is without Carter Capps, that ranks sixth in the National League in terms of ERA, the Marlins are sending a message. And that message is clear.
Miami wants to make it known it’s serious about competing this season. For the first time in a few seasons, the Marlins aren’t talking about the future. It’s June 30 and they are talking about now.
Jose Fernandez is under club control until 2018, but the back end of the rotation might not have as much success next season. Giancarlo Stanton signed his megadeal, but Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich might not perform as well beside him. The bullpen might not be effective.
The Marlins want to win now, which is why they have been linked to Drew Pomeranz and Jake Odorizzi and why they will likely add a starter before the non-waiver trade deadline. Thursday’s deal with the Padres makes that much clear.
While Rodney is 39, he converted each of his 17 save opportunities with the Padres. The Marlins now have two relievers who have yet to blow a save this season in the back of their bullpen.
Miami has yet to find a stable long relief option, but the back end of the bullpen has been consistent despite the injuries. Adding Rodney to a group featuring A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps should prove to be beneficial.
The Marlins now have bullpen depth, which will allow Manager Don Mattingly to give certain relievers days off, something he wasn’t in a position to do before.
Several teams were interested in Rodney, according to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser, but the Marlins were the most aggressive. It took a Single-A pitching prospect to acquire one of the best relievers available. This is a trade that will almost certainly set the market value for other relievers.
Paddack is one of the Marlins’ better starting pitching prospects and was in a minor league system that lacked just that. The Marlins don’t have much starting depth, and Paddack pitched to a 0.95 ERA over 28.1 innings. He hasn’t allowed a hit over his last 15 innings.
You want to be upset because the Marlins traded a Single-A arm because you are questioning whether you should trust this organization. After adding Rodney, there is no guarantee the Marlins are going to make the playoffs. But they want to win now, and this trade proves that.