MLB Trade Deadline: Marlins Send Rea Back, Meaning What?

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Jul 30, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins staring pitcher Colin Rea (right) hands the baseball to Marlins manager Don Mattingly (left) after Rea injured his arm during the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins staring pitcher Colin Rea (right) hands the baseball to Marlins manager Don Mattingly (left) after Rea injured his arm during the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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In a crazy twist, the Miami Marlins front office proved themselves to be calculating businessmen with a keen eye for getting maximum value out of a contract.

Okay, maybe that’s not that crazy.  But they might have had a point this time.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Marlins are sending Colin Rea back to the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Luis Castillo. * Rea made his Marlins debut Saturday, but as I’m sure you’re aware, left less than four innings in with an elbow injury.  This was apparently…let’s go with upsetting for the club’s top brass. Andrew Cashner stays with the Marlins, and the Padres keep Josh Naylor, Carter Capps, and Jarred Cosart.  Tayron Guerrero is still here to; apologies for not saying that sooner, he really is the least essential part of this trade.

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By all accounts, this doesn’t happen very often, and your guess is as good as mine if the fact that this did happen is more a matter of Jeffrey Loria brazenness or San Diego culpability.  It was a fast injury- certainly can’t remember a trade going south that swiftly.  For any team in any sport, at least due to an injury.

So why does this matter?

For one, it suggests that the the Rea injury was determined to be severe enough to keep him out beyond the two or three start threshold that comes with a 15-day DL stint.  Some earlier, optimistic reports suggested that timetable was in play. You have to assume at this point that Rea is looking at a month or more. Otherwise, this seems short sighted, as the Marlins did need two starters in the end on account of the Wei-Yin Chen injury.  If already committed to a win now approach, why ship back a guy who could help out in 2016 and 2017 just to get back a guy who’s a couple years away from contributing?

Because they are committed to winning now.  They just wanted their chip back.

This weekend, news leaked that the Marlins were reportedly discussing a Shelby Miller trade with Arizona prior to Friday’s Cashner/Rea swap.  The top name that came up on the Marlins side of that particular trade menu?

Luis Castillo.

Rea is so controllable for so long, that it only makes sense to give up on him if doing so helps the ballclub in the immediate future.  Like the next eighty minutes or so immediate.  Sure, this could have been about the principle of the thing.  The rest of the package is more than fair for just Cashner and Guerrero, and if Rea wasn’t 100 % going out the door, you can’t fault the Marlins for showing him the door in return.

But after yesterday’s rip-your-shirt-off declaration that this team is legit in it to win it, I’d expect the other shoe to drop sooner than later.  Castillo is back, but not for long.

  • I hope you enjoyed the links to the original Luis Castillo.
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