At the midpoint of the season, the Marlins desperately needed starting pitching to maintain their surprising postseason pace. The problem was that every other contending team was shopping for the same thing.
This league-wide demand drove prices sky high, and the Marlins had no choice but to pay up to get the pieces they desired. The trade which Miami thought would propel them to the playoffs involved sending 2015 first round pick Josh Naylor, struggling starter Jarred Cosart and minor league pitcher Luis Castillo to San Diego for starters Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea and reliever Tayron Guerrero.
How bad does that trade look for the Marlins now?
Yes, the Rea-Castillo part of the deal was reversed after the former’s injury in his very fist outing in a Marlins uniform, but Naylor had/still has so much potential, and Cashner has been so bad since being acquired.
In four of his eight starts for Miami, Cashner has given up a least four runs. In addition, he has only pitched six innings twice. Certainly not the innings-eater the Marlins hoped they were getting, then. And so, with one trade, instead of moving toward success, Miami moved further from it.
Cashner was seen as a rental, seeing as though he is a free agent after the season ends, with the option of potentially being brought back next year if both parties were interested in such a deal. From what he has displayed over the last month and a half, though, there is enough evidence to say that he would possibly not be worth Miami’s investment.
There have been glimpses this season that this rotation could be competitive next year with only one stellar free agent addition. Jose Fernandez, Adam Conley, Tom Koehler and, recently, Jose Urena have all impressed this season and will almost certainly factor into the 2017 starting rotation. However, Andrew Cashner should not.
The Cashner trade will probably be a trade that the Marlins wish they could undo. Giving up a promising first round pick for a starting pitcher that regularly gives up multiple runs per start, while struggling to pitch past the middle innings, will have a lasting impact on this franchise.
With first baseman Justin Bour’s injury this season which kept him on the disabled list for two months, it became apparent just how little depth the Marlins have in the minor leagues at that position. Josh Naylor may not be ready for the big leagues for another three or four years, but he just might become a player that burns Miami in his career.
Then the organization will realize just how costly buying at the trade deadline can be.