The Miami Marlins are finalizing a deal to acquire reliever Fernando Rodney from the San Diego Padres for Class A pitching prospect Chris Paddack on Thursday, two sources told Yahoo Sports, kicking off trade season a little more than a month from the Aug. 1 deadline.
Rodney, who posted a 0.31 ERA closing for the Padres, bolsters an already-strong Marlins bullpen that includes closer A.J. Ramos and setup men David Phelps and Kyle Barraclough. At 41-37, Miami has weathered inconsistent starting pitching, Giancarlo Stanton slumping and the suspension of Dee Gordon to position itself alongside the New York Mets, the defending National League champions, and in the thick of the wild-card race.
Under new manager Don Mattingly, the Marlins have played a strong brand of baseball, with near-flawless infield defense and breakout years from outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich to buttress Stanton’s struggles. While Jose Fernandez could start the All-Star Game, the rest of the rotation – Adam Conley, Tom Koehler, Wei-Yin Chen and Justin Nicolino – has disappointed. The cost of starting pitching in trades at this point was prohibitive enough the Marlins chose to focus on bullpen help and jump the market.
Keith Law of ESPN first reported the sides were close on a trade.
For San Diego, Rodney’s departure doesn’t necessarily signal the desperately needed rebuild but shows general manager A.J. Preller’s modus operandi this summer may be different than last, when he held on to some of his most valuable assets. Not only did Rodney’s price tag appeal to the Marlins, so did the club option for next year that, after performance bonuses from this season are rolled over, will likely end up in the $4 million range, a massive bargain in a relief market expected to mushroom this offseason.
Paddack, 20, was an eighth-round pick last season who has excelled in Low-A this season. Over his past three starts, he has pitched 15 hitless innings, struck out 28 and walked one. On the season, Paddack has a 0.95 ERA over six starts and has punched out 48 and walked two in 28 1/3 innings.