Friday, June 15, 2012

Looking Back at the Mat Latos Trade

In December of 2011, shortly after the MLB Winter Meetings ended the Reds pulled off a trade that no one was really expecting. One day Mat Latos was a San Diego Padre, the next he was a Cincinnati Red. We all heard rumors all off season the Reds were going to be in the mix for a starting pitcher. Gio Gonzalez was one of those names that was tossed around, but the Reds pulled off a trade that went down as quite a shock.

My initial reaction to the deal was more or less an astounding, "WHAT?" The shock factor was more for the fact of what the Reds gave up in the deal than what they were getting. They gave up Edinson Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger all to get Mat Latos. That's a lot of guys to get one starter that could possibly be a fixture in this rotation for years to come. The young Mat Latos was now a Cincinnati Red. Wow.

I will say that I absolutely LOVE this deal. I loved it at the time after thinking it over, and I still love it as I look back on it. Sure, you'll hear fans say, "Well look what they had to give up..." Yes, the Reds gave up quite a bit of talent to get one guy, but where were these guys going to play? You have Yonder Alonso who is blocked by Joey Votto (I'd rather have Votto). Alonso was not going to play out in left field or at third base. Yasmani Grandal is blocked by Mesoraco. Edinson Volquez, he's just Edinson Volquez and did not work out in Cincinnati. Brad Boxberger, at the time we had Ryan Madson and Boxberger was not going to be up in Cincinnati with the big league squad.

I'm sure everyone has also heard the whole, "Mat Latos has maturity issues on the mound," argument. Does he have maturity issues on the mound? Not from what I see. What I see it Latos is a desire to win. When he doesn't pitch well, he gets frustrated. Why is that a bad thing? Wouldn't you rather have a guy that wants to win and gets frustrated on the mound when he doesn't perform to his ability than a guy like Volquez who didn't seem to care about anything?

Looking back on the deal, as I said, I love it. It was a great deal, in my opinion. We'll see how Latos fairs the rest of this year and in the future, but as of now I love the deal.

A quick look at the stats of Volquez, Alonso, Grandal, Boxberger AND Latos:

Edinson Volquez: 3-6, 3.70 ERA, 70 K, 47 BB, 1.39 WHIP

Yonder Alonso: .260, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 19 Runs

Yasmani Grandal: .316, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 26 Runs

Brad Boxberger: 1-2, 4.70 ERA, 5 SV, 35 K, 15 BB, 1.60 WHIP

Mat Latos: 5-2, 4.64 ERA, 66 K, 26 BB, 1.37 WHIP

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