mat latos will be going to the marlins in trade. #reds— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 11, 2014
There's been no official word to confirm from the Reds yet, likely because GM Walt Jocketty was finishing up his press conference following this morning's trade of Alfredo Simon to the Detroit Tigers for Jonathan Crawford and Eugenio Suarez. According to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, though, the Reds are getting a pair of solid prospects from Miami:
Latos going to #Marlins for DeSclafani and Chad Wallach.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2014
Latos heads into 2015 in his last season of arbitration eligibility before presumably becoming a free agent prior to 2016 (should he not re-up with Miami after this trade), and with the Reds in a pickle trying to sign multiple pitchers and shed salary, he becomes the second veteran starter to be jettisoned this offseason. Since he fought through elbow surgery, a flexor mass scare, and a torn meniscus during the 2014 campaign, it'll be quite interesting to see whether the velocity dip he dealt with in 2014 was merely due to those injuries and missed time, or is something he'll have to deal with going forward.
In return for Latos, the Reds get a talented arm in Anthony DeSclafani, a player who joined the Marlins in the massive deal with the Toronto Blue Jays several winters ago that sent Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, among others, to Vottoland. He ranked as high as the 2nd best prospect in the Marlins system at one point according to MLB Pipeline, and reached the majors last season at age 24, appearing in 13 games with a stellar 5.2 K/BB despite an unsightly 6.27 ERA in 33 innings. His rookie status is still intact, meaning the Reds get 6 years of his service time. Also part of the deal is catcher Chad Wallach, a former 5th round pick out of Cal-State Fullerton who beat the tar out of A ball pitching to the tune of .322/.431/.457 in 2014. He'll provide solid catching depth, which is something no team can ever have enough of.
More importantly, I suppose, as that the trade of Latos and the previous trade of Alfredo Simon should free the Reds of nearly $15 million in 2015 payroll, so they'll now have a considerable amount more flexibility in solving the still vacant LF position (as well as the bullpen.)
In his 3 seasons with the Reds after being acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, and Brad Boxberger, Latos went 33-16 with a 3.31 ERA in 522.1 innings pitched, good for a kick-ass 117 ERA+ and a solid 9.0 bWAR.
Thanks for a hell of a ride, Mat, and good luck in Miami.