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Queen City Bolsheviks Begin to Stir…

[ 7 ] December 17, 2011 |

Reds trying to win in the near term:

The Reds acquired right-handed starter Mat Latos from San Diego on Saturday for a package of four players, including infielder Yonder Alonso and right-handed starter Edinson Volquez. Cincinnati wanted to acquire a front-of-the-rotation starter in free agency. Latos went 9-14 with a 3.47 ERA for the Padres last season, finishing among the NL leaders in ERA and strikeouts.

The Reds gave up two of their top prospects — first-round picks Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal — in order to get Latos in their first deal of the offseason. He joins a rotation that includes right-handers Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo.

The price is significant, but the Reds obviously felt that they needed to try to win while Votto, Bruce, and Cueto were all under contract and reasonably cheap. If I’m counting right they’ll have all three plus Matos for the next two years, and the NL Central can certainly be won.

See also this article on Jeff Mathis, Mike Napoli, and the species “backup catcher”.

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Comments (7)

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  1. c u n d gulag says:

    Well, considering what the Cardinals and Brewers lost to free agency this year, I don’t blame the Reds for trying.

    Their ballpark’s pretty small, much smaller than Petco, but I think the Reds feel that Latos has the kind of stuff that he can pitch there, or anywhere, for that matter. And I think they’re right.

    I think it’s a pretty good trade.

  2. Bill Murray says:

    why a pitcher rather than someone to play the left side of the infield that can hit something other than the disabled list?

  3. Timb says:

    Seems like a ton to give up, but Latos is the pitcher they keep hoping volquez would become

  4. Woodrowfan says:

    I remember the mid-late 80s, when the Reds refused to part with their “crown jewels” to trade for the #1 starter they needed. They finished in 2d four years in a row and some of the crown jewels were busts. I am forever grateful they kept Larkin and Davis, but I would have gladly risked losing Tracy Jones and Kal Daniels….Hell, given who they got for him, even trading Paul O’Neill earlier for a good pitcher would have worked.

  5. JRoth says:

    As a Pirates fan, I was unimpressed by the trade – until I looked at the numbers and saw just how ineffective Volquez has been except for his one good year. 85 could win the Central this year, and 88 almost certainly will, and this puts the Reds closer to 88 than any of the other teams. Most importantly, they need very little good luck (e.g., another great old-age season from Berkman, Ramirez halting any decline) to get there – they’re relying almost exclusively on guys in their primes to perform at roughly career-average rates.

    Of course, you should never underestimate Baker’s ability to torpedo his own team. Latos will probably go past 110 pitches for the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th times in his career in his first 5 starts as a Red.

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