MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez, a good-hitting pitcher, has faced right-hander Andrew Cashner before.

"I didn't like it at all," Fernandez said of the experience.

The Miami Marlins, who on Friday acquired Cashner as the centerpiece of a seven-player trade with the San Diego Padres, are hoping that opposing hitters will hate the experience, too.

Miami also acquired right-handers Colin Rea, who will start Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Tayron Guerrero, who was sent to Double-A Jacksonville.

Rea, 26, made his major-league debut last year, going 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA. This year, he is 5-5 with a 4.98 ERA.

On Saturday, Rea will face Cardinals right-hander Jaime Garcia, who will make his 21st start of the season, the most he has had since getting 32 starts in 2011.

Garcia leads the National League in ground-ball percentage (58.7). He has also induced 16 double plays, which ranks fourth in the NL. He has fared well in five career starts against the Marlins, going 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA. That's the sixth-best ERA against the Marlins among active pitchers.

That's a tough matchup for Rea, and it won't get any easier for Cashner when he makes his Marlins debut on Sunday. The Cards will counter with right-hander Carlos Martinez (10-6, 2.87 ERA).

Marlins GM Michael Hill said Friday that he believes Miami is "a playoff team," and that's why he gave up so much in the trade -- including his organization's top hitting prospect (first baseman Josh Naylor) and two pitchers who can throw 100 mph (Luis Castillo and Carter Capps). Veteran right-hander Jarred Cosart was also sent to the Padres.

"Andrew has pitched at the top of a rotation," Hill said. "We felt he was the most impactful target in the (trade) market.

"It was a big trade for our team."

Cashner is 4-7 this year with a 4.76 ERA -- not impressive numbers. But he went 10-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 starts in 2013 and 5-7 with a 2.55 ERA in 19 starts the next year.

Things have gone south for Cashner since then, but he has been better in his past three starts, posting a 2.55 ERA with 23 strikeouts and three walks. His fastball averages 94.1 mph, the kind of power stuff the Marlins prefer.

"We wanted to get someone who is hot," Hill said, "and that did play into it as we agreed on Andrew."

Hill said Marlins manager Don Mattingly was part of the trade-evaluation process. Mattingly knows Cashner well -- they competed against each other in the NL West when the former was the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Marlins had "a long list" of trade targets before settling on the Padres' offer that included Guerrero, a 25-year-old with a 100 mph fastball.

Hill said it wasn't easy to trade for an established starting pitcher such as Cashner.

"The asking prices -- the starting pitching market is very competitive," Hill said. "We knew we were going to have to give up very good players if we were going to accomplish our goals."

Now that the deal is done, we will see how it plays out on the field. The Marlins and Cardinals are in a tough fight -- as it currently stands - for the second and final NL wild-card playoff spot.

St. Louis, after winning the first two of the four-game series, leads Miami by one game in that pursuit.

But the Marlins, who have acquired three major-league pitchers -- Cashner, Rea and a previous deal with San Diego for reliever Fernando Rodney -- in the past few weeks, have at least proved they are serious about making a postseason push.

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