by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
As the news started leaking out the trade kept escalating, and ultimately it was a seven player swap:
The Marlins Get – RHP Andrew Cashner, RHP Colin Rea, RHP Tayron Guerrero
The Padres Get – RHP Jarred Cosart, 1B Josh Naylor, RHP Luis Castillo, RHP Carter Capps
From a 2016 perspective all eyes are obviously on the starting pitchers who were moved in the deal (though Naylor, Castillo and Capps may ultimately be the bigger impact players over the next few years). Right now let’s take a look at the immediate implications for the three:
As has often been the case for Cashner, he’s fared significantly better at home in 2016 than he has on the road:
- Home – 3.63
- Road – 6.23
Last season the split was a bit closer (3.86/4.74), but in 2014 it was significantly more distorted (1.43/4.31). In other words taking him out of Petco Park is immediately going to be a cause for concern. He has been more prone to the long ball on the road (1.82 HR/9) as opposed to at home (1.21), though the bigger issues have been his control (4.15 BB/9) and strand rate (57.9%). Neither of those things would appear to be tied to the ballpark, so there is reason for hope.
In fact Marlins Park has yielded fewer home runs per game in ’16 (1.58) as compared to Petco Park (2.35), so the new home ballpark shouldn’t a concern. You also have an improved defense behind him, with the Marlins putting up just 47 errors (fifth fewest in the league) compared to 72 for the Padres (third most). He also will now have the advantage of regularly facing the Phillies and Braves, two teams he should be able to feast against, as opposed to current divisional rivals in the Diamondbacks, Giants, Dodgers and Rockies.
While Cashner has not become the strikeout pitcher many had envisioned, there is still a lot to like moving forward. He’s not likely to be a superstar, but he should be a solid option.
The positives for Cashner (like the improved defense and the ballpark) obviously carry over to Rea as well. That said Rea’s strikeout rate is significantly lower (6.3% SwStr%), his control hasn’t been great (3.99 BB/9) and he has routinely been hit hard (22.8% line drive rate). In other words, while the trade could help his cause a little bit there is little reason to consider buying him.
He gets a chance for a new start, but is there any reason to care? He has 329.2 innings in the Majors, posting lackluster metrics along the way:
- Strikeouts – 5.62 K/9
- Control – 4.29 BB/9
- Groundballs – 55.3%
Obviously we like the groundball rate, but if it doesn’t come with the other numbers who really cares? He owns a 6.5% SwStr% over the course of his career and a minor league career 7.5 K/9, so it’s also hard to expect much of an improvement. Maybe a change of scenery helps, but there’s little reason to make a move.
Sources – Fangraphs, ESPN, MLB.com, Baseball Reference
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