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Johnny Cueto chooses Marlins over Padres in free agency

What does this move mean for the Padres?

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago White Sox Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres have been vying for the services of Johnny Cueto but the 36-year-old is choosing to sign with the Miami Marlins, according to numerous reports.

Cueto would’ve given the Padres another veteran arm who could’ve slotted into the four or five spot in the rotation. But now the rotation remains what it was 24 hours ago: Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Seth Lugo and Nick Martinez.

This might not be the rotation come Opening Day, though. Miami now has an excess of starters and are open to trading Pablo Lopez, Trevor Rogers, Jesus Luzardo or Edward Cabrera, who all have multiple years of control. That is important for the Padres, as Darvish and Snell are scheduled to hit the free agent market following the 2023 season.

Any of those four starters would be fits for the Padres but the bigger question is if San Diego is willing to give the Marlins what they want, which seems to be an impact bat. Trent Grisham and Ha-Seong Kim are available, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic.