The Final Verdict
The Marlins got a total of 2.0 WAR from Cosart and Hernandez, neither of whom is still with the team. The Astros got a total of 8.9 WAR after accounting for the negative value supplied by Moran and Martes, so in a strict on-the-field comparison, the Astros did better, solely thanks to Marisnick.
Of course there are the additional layers to this in the fact that several of these players were traded again. The Astros were able to flip Moran and Cameron in deals for Cole and Verlander, which helped get them a pair of bona fide aces the past two years. Verlander, in particular, helped the club to a World Series title in 2017. He’s given the club 16.1 WAR in two seasons plus a month of 2017, while Cole provided 12.3 WAR in two seasons.
The Marlins used Hernandez to help them grab Gordon, Haren and Rojas. Gordon won a batting title and gave the team 8.2 WAR in three seasons before being traded to Seattle, Haren gave them 2.0 WAR in a partial season, and Rojas has given them 5.9 WAR in five seasons.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
The Marlins got a combined -2.0 WAR from the three players they received from the Padres in exchange for Cosart, Carter Capps, Luis Castillo and Josh Naylor. However, this trade had a wrinkle in that a few days later, Castillo was sent back to the Marlins and Rea was sent back to the Padres after Rea left his lone Miami appearance with an injury.
The Padres got -0.7 WAR combined from Cosart, Capps and Naylor. Castillo was later traded to the Reds and has since blossomed into a promising young pitcher, but neither the Marlins nor the Padres saw that come to fruition. Rea has not pitched in the majors since that 2016 season.
So the Marlins made out fairly well in the Hernandez trade, but not so well in the Cosart deal. In the end, it’s tough to fully grade the subsequent deals given that there are other players involved, but the Astros flipped Moran and Cameron in two great trades, while the Marlins flipped Cosart and Hernandez in one solid deal and one poor deal.
That, combined with the fact that the Astros simply got more WAR on the field from the players involved in this 2014 trade with the Marlins, leaves me to grade the Astros as the winners of this trade. Marisnick was the single biggest reason for that, and the club clearly traded Cosart at the right time. This was an unexpected but shrewd move by former GM Jeff Luhnow, and to a certain extent, it helped set the stage for the team’s success these past three seasons.