At 12:34 the Cincinnati Reds announced today via Twitter that they had completed a deal with the San Diego Padres, acquiring right-handed pitcher Mat Latos. Was what they gave up for him really worth it?
The Reds gave up four players in this deal: Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Brad Boxberger, and Yasmani Grandal. I can understand getting rid of the first two, but all four is puzzling to me.
Alonso and Volquez are both very good players, but if you look at their situation, it makes sense. Alonso has been forced to play left field due to the fact that Joey Votto is the starter in his natural position of first base. With Volquez, his run was nearing an end in Cincinnati one way or the other. He's been so inconsistent numbers wise, along with being suspended 50 games for violating the MLB's rules of performance-enhancing drug-use. Not to mention his attitude hasn't been the best in his time there either.
After that though, if you take a look at what Boxberger and Grandal have done thus far throughout their Minor League careers, you have to stop and wonder if this trade was really a good deal or not. Boxberger, a RH pitcher, split time between AA Carolina and AAA Louisville last year and posted a 2.03 ERA and averaged 13.5 SO/9. Grandal, a rare switch-hitting catcher, spent his time last year on each level at High A Bakersfield, AA Carolina, and AAA Louisville. Overall he batted .305 with 14 HR and 68 RBI while posting a .401 OBP. Those are extremely solid numbers from both prospects.
Now don't get me wrong, Mat Latos is an excellent pitcher in his own right. He will be one of the best in the league for years to come. He's been a victim of a poor offense so his W-L isn't so pretty, but a career 3.37 ERA and 413 K's through 72 starts is very impressive. As impressive as it is though, I can't bring myself to understand what the Reds were thinking by giving up so much talent for one player.
On the other hand, the Padres are big winners and this is a big step in their rebuilding process.
All stats are from www.baseball-reference.com