Last week the Marlins made a move. In hopes to strengthen their rotation, the Marlins shipped Luis Castillo, Austin Brice and Isaiah White to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Dan Straily. The initial reaction around baseball was that the Marlins got ripped or “finessed”, as the cool kids say. But that is really not the case.

You look at this trade and say “The Marlins gave up 3 top 15 prospects for the Dan Straily!” While that is technically true, it doesn’t mean much. Being top 15 in the Marlins system doesn’t mean much. The Marlins farm system is easily a bottom 3 in the league.

Let’s put it in perspective, Castillo who was top 5 in the Marlins system, slides down to 8th in the Reds. Austin Brice moved to 23 and White slid down to 30.

Castillo and Brice were likely to be bullpen pitchers at best. Maybe a 4-5 starter for Castillo.

The Marlins don’t value Castillo much considering this is the 2nd time in 8 months that they have traded him. If you remember, back in July, the Marlins dealt Castillo to the Padres in the strange deal where Rae pitched 4 innings with the Marlins and then was immediately traded back to the Padres for Luis Castillo.

Austin Brice had a brief stint in the Major Leagues last year pitching 14 innings with the Marlins. He posted a 4.50 FIP and a 4.07 xFIP with a nice 9.00/3.21 KK%/BB%. Brice has talent and can be a pretty good relief pitcher for the Reds but with the Marlins off-season signings and Jose Urena out of options, he was likely to start in AAA.

Isaiah White was the most interesting piece to me. White has top speed, graded 80 and a nice stroke that can one day develop power has him as an interesting developmental piece for the Reds. The Marlins took him in the 3rd round in 2015 draft. He struggled in Low A last year but he only played 51 games.

Now we get to Straily, he had a decent year last season but we know with his fly ball rate that it’s not likely to repeat his success. He posted a 4.88 FIP with a 7.62 K%. Straily throws a fast ball at around 90 MPH and some secondary pitches. But what was big was him pitching 194 innings last year, more innings than any Marlins pitcher since 2014.

I’m not saying the Marlins won the trade with the Reds or they made the right move. I wouldn’t have made the trade because I feel like the Marlins have a pitcher in the system that will come close to what Straily will post in 2017. However, all things considered, value wise, it wasn’t a bad trade.

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  1. Marlins have their work cut out for them in finding quality depth in the bullpen following the death of the late Jose Fernandez. It’ll be interesting to see if Mattingly can coach-up the Fish into a wild card spot this season


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