Sep 28, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) is congratulated by manager Bryan Price (38) after the Reds defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 at Great American Ball Park. The Reds won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Trades (part 1):
Traded C Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Los Angeles Dodgers for SP Chris Anderson and INF Darnell Sweeney:
This was a tough trade to make, as I sincerely believe Salty’s going to have a bounceback 2015 season. But a chance to clear $7 million in salary as well as add two prospects that interest me a lot was something I didn’t want to pass up. Trading Saltalamacchia cleared $7 million in salary and opened the door for bigger (and bolder) transactions down the road.
Only issue, Jacob Realmuto was the only catcher on the Marlins 40-man roster. I had to either decide he was ready to take on a full-time role as the Marlins catcher or make another move for a starting catcher.
Acquired SP Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds for SP Anthony DeSclafani, SP Brian Flynn, and INF Avery Romero:
Unlike the real life Marlins, I was not out seeking a frontline starter, or any starter for that matter, but when the opportunity arose to acquire the services of Cueto, I had to jump on it. Cueto slots into the #1 slot in the rotation until Jose returns in June/July, giving the Marlins a top of the line rotation.
The Reds approached me with three different proposals on prospects they wanted for Cueto. This is the one that made the most sense to me. The acquisition of Darnell Sweeney opened the door for me to trade Romero. Sweeney is further along than Romero, meaning he could help the Marlins reap the benefits of the two trades a lot faster.
We did not make any attempts to try and resign Cueto a long-term deal during the meetings.
Acquired C Jason Castro from the Houston Astros for INF Enrique Hernandez, C/INF Austin Barnes, and RP Chris Hatcher:
After trading both the catchers that spend the majority of the season behind the plate for the team, I needed to decide if I believed prospect J.T Realmuto was ready for a full-time role. Ultimately, I believed he needed some more minor league seasoning and went in the direction of a proven guy, in Castro.
In this deal, we had to send away two guys we thought could make a major impact for the Marlins, maybe as soon as this season. Hernandez was projected to be my every day second baseman headed into the Meetings. Barnes became the third catcher traded from the team during the off-season. The only way these two would have been moved was if I could acquire a starting catcher that could be a cornerstone behind the plate.
With a talented bullpen, Chris Hatcher was an expandable piece.
Next: Free Agent Signings