The trade fills an obvious void for the Marlins, who along with the Cardinals sit 1.5 games ahead of the Mets for the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Wie-Yin Chen, their major free agent acquisition this past offseason and fourth starter, has a 4.99 ERA through 19 starts and went down with an elbow sprain on July 24. Three different pitchers have appeared in the fifth spot in their rotation, none of whom have an ERA below 5.00.
The 29-year-old Cashner has a 4.76 ERA and 4.94 FIP this season. Last year, he had a 4.34 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 184.2 innings, his career high. Back in 2013 and 2014, he was one of the better pitcher in baseball. In 298.1 innings between those seasons, he had a 2.87 ERA and a 3.24 FIP. A rental, Cashner will be a free agent after this season.
With a 4.99 ERA through 99.1 innings this season, the 26-year-old Rea has had a worse season, but he is in his first full major league season and is under team control through 2021. In total, he has a 4.81 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 131.0 innings in the big leagues.
The Marlins took the 19-year-old Naylor with the 12th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft. Playing in a depleted system, he was the only Marlins prospect to make Baseball America’s midseason top 100 list at #100. Through 89 games in Low-A Greensboro, he hit .269/.317/.430 with 9 home runs.