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Padres Make Second Big Swap with Marlins

Synopsis: Today the San Diego Padres traded starting pitchers Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea and Double-A minor league reliever Tayron Guerrero, 25, to the Miami Marlins in exchange for first baseman/designated hitter Josh Naylor, 19, who was in their Low-A affiliate Greensboro in the South Atlantic League, starting pitcher Luis Castillo, 23, who is in Jupiter in the High-A Florida State League and pitchers Jarred Cosart and Carter Capps, who are on the big league roster.

Additionally, according to FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Padres also sent over $2.275 million of the remaining $2.5 million that was left on Cashner’s contract for the season.  It’s interesting to note that Naylor, who was  a first round pick of the Marlins last year, was given a signing bonus of $2.2 million, which is nearly the exact amount that San Diego is sending back to South Florida.

“It’s clear that the Marlins are going for it this year,” said Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America, who compiled Miami’s mid-season rankings in which Naylor was ranked as their top prospect and Castillo was at number six.

“They have a new farm director this year [Mark DelPiano] but I am still surprised they gave up as much as they did.  Castillo has touched 101 mph this year and he got very high marks from [Jupiter’s] pitching coach Jeremy Powell.”

“Naylor should come into more of his power in the next few years.”

What the Padres Gained: The Padres have been active in the trade market, first dealing James Shields, then Fernando Rodney, Drew Pomeranz, Melvin Upton and now Andrew Cashner.  As in the previous trades the main components coming back are low minors prospects along with some cash being sent over to cover salaries with Shields, Upton and now Cashner.

After being selected as the twelfth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Naylor became better known for being involved in a bizarre "horsing around" knife fight with another Marlins’ prospect.

On the field, according to ESPN’s Keith Law, he’s dropped twenty pounds from last year and has turned into a decent defensive first baseman and this year has started to show some power with 34 extra-base hits.  He will be the everyday first baseman with the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm.

“Coming out of high school Naylor was compared to Prince Fielder - but I think he has real hitting ability too,” said Jim Callis of “He just turned 19 about a month ago and I do think he’s a little underrated. He’s gotten better defensively, but I think he’s first base only too.”

Castillo, who is being listed as the second player coming over in the deal, could actually become the top prospect.  While Castillo is slightly under league average for age at this level, any concerns about his age are mitigated by the mid-90’s fastball that he throws to go along with a good to plus change.  As with all starting pitchers he will need a third pitch and how much Jimmie Jones, the Double-A San Antonio Pitching Coach, will determine if he can become a big league starter.

“He might even been better than number six when I take a look at our list,” said Callis. “He’s got a big fastball, slider and a developing change.  You have to love the strikeout-to-walk ratio and if I was making a trade with the Marlins, those are the two guys that I would want.”

“Also if you look at what came back on the major league side those are two good arms and Cozart is kind of younger version of Cashner.”

Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune has the breakdown of where Cosart and Capps will fit into the big club.

What the Padres Lost:  In a way Andrew Cashner is the classic example of the difference between a really good prospect and a really good major league player.  A top prospect has an immense amount of tools; in Cashner’s case good size, a big fastball and at times quality secondary stuff.  His problem was he could never do it with any consistency, which is what makes a good major league player.

This was Cashner’s free agent year and it is a near certainty that the Padres would be unwilling to pay him for what he could command in the open market primarily because his salary would not justify his performance.

Rea was in a way the last of a group of mid to back-end pitching prospects that Padres’ General Manager A.J. Preller inherited when he took over the franchise in late 2014 – Matt Wisler, Zach Eflin and Joe Ross being the others.  Ross may have a little more upside, but Rea profiled as a number four starter with the potential to go up or down a level.  

He really turned around his career last year and with time still has a good chance to be an effective mid-rotation starter.  He, along with Cashner, should benefit from the superior Marlins’ infield defense. 

Big Tayron, a six-foot-seven Columbian – a.k.a. “the Angry Stork” (and yes, that will be the last time I reference that nickname) – never quite found the fastball command or an effective secondary pitch to become a major league relief option.  

Analysis: No one really “wins” or “loses” trades.  With the amount of resources available to all major league teams and the plethora of advisers and assistants to general managers it is unlikely, and really nearly impossible, that two trading partners would not have near perfect information of whom they are trying to acquire.

Why teams do make trades is that nearly all of them are in different places; the Marlins are trying to win now and San Diego isn’t. The Padres essentially got rid of a player in Cashner that they were not going to resign; another pitcher whom they felt they could replace in Rea and a reliever that had fallen in their internal depth chart with Guerrero.

In return they received a player right now that is a first base only option in Naylor, a pitching prospect that seems at worst a viable major league reliever and two pieces on the major league side that Padres’ Pitching Coach Daren Balsley may or may not be able to work his magic with.

In short Preller continues to act like the scout he is in acquiring as much low level minor league talent – and in his case always potential high-impact prospects - with the hope that one or more may hit.

With the acquisitions of Chris Paddack, Fernando Tatis, Jr. Hansel Rodriguez, Anderson Espinoza and now Naylor and Castillo; it’s not a bad gamble.

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