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”.