“Don’t focus on making money; focus on protecting what you have.” –Paul Tudor Jones
Mat Latos was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. That was the good news for the Reds.
Now the bad news: Cincy lost this trade in a landslide.
As reported, Mat Latos, the 24-year old Virginia native who went 9-14 with a 3.47 earned run average in 2011 was traded for Edison Volquez, Yasmani Gandal and Yonder Alonso. For those of you keeping score that is two first-rounders and a 2008 All-Star caliber pitcher going to a team with one of the better pitching minded managers in the league. Checkmate Padres.
Cincinnati got a great young pitcher in Latos. He went 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA in 2010. The talent is there and that has never been the question. It has always been about worth and in this instance the Reds overpaid.
Edison Volquez and Yonder Alonzo are obviously the key to this trade on the Padres side. Volquez, an All-Star in 2008 with 17 wins and a 3.21, has the ability to be a front of the rotation starter. His problem of course is being healthy, since 2008 he hasn’t been able to put together a full season of health. At 27, he is almost the “throw-in” player for this deal but if he is able to put it together under the tutelage of Bud Black and that coaching staff in San Diego this would be a huge boost to their rotation.
Alonso and Rizzo (San Diego’s super prospect of the past year) create a problem at first albeit a problem many ball clubs would love to have. Trading Rizzo isn’t an option so Alonso is looking at a move to the outfield. Gandal could potentially close the revolving door the Padres have had at catcher since Benito Santiago if he reaches his full potential.
While the Reds received an ace, they paid a steep price for this trade. Especially when you look at hanging your organization on one solid (nine win) season on Johnny Cueto and a Jekyll and Hyde Homer Bailey. I give the Padres and “A+” for the haul brought in and a “B-” to the Reds with the possibility of becoming a “D” if Latos regresses and there is no one behind him or they supplement this move with another one shortly after.