Mat Latos and the cost of a young aceBy
The Reds and Padres pulled off a mini-blockbuster earlier today, with 24-year-old right-hander Mat Latos heading to Cincinnati for Edinson Volquez and prospects Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. Latos has been one of the best young pitchers in the game the last two seasons, with lots of strikeouts and few walks, plus he has virtually no home/road split (so he’s not a product of Petco Park). On the downside, he missed time with a shoulder problem early in 2011 and has a long history of makeup concerns.
Understandably, the Reds had to give up significant talent to acquire Latos, who can’t become a free agent until after the 2015 season. They gave up their third, fourth, and tenth best prospects in the trade (according to Baseball America), as well as a 28-year-old big league starting pitcher with a well above average season to his credit (albeit three years ago). For those of you holding out hope that the Yankees will pull of a trade for a young stud pitcher like this — which I am — we now have a pretty good reference for what it would take to acquire the guy. It’s going to hurt, a lot.
For those asking, a comparable Yankees package would have been something like Jesus Montero, Phil Hughes,
Gary Sanchez Austin Romine, and Adam Warren. Not a perfect match, but in the ballpark. Romine fits better than Sanchez because Grandal will spend next year in Triple-A.