Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is reporting that the Padres have traded starting pitcher Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for pitchers Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger, first baseman Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal.
The trade is drawing mixed reviews on the Reds' end, and rightfully so, considering the team surrendered one of its best pitchers and two of its top offensive chips. Here's B/R senior writer Cliff Eastham's take on it:
Latos for Yonder Alonso would have been a good deal; Latos for Alonso and Edinson Volquez would be too much. Having the other two (Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger) thrown in for good measure is just ridiculous.
The Reds are giving up a lot, but besides Alonso, who is blocked by Joey Votto for the foreseeable future anyway, none of those players would have been contributing to the 2012 Reds.
Let's take a look at who the Padres acquired and what their future may look like.
Volquez has been trying to work his way back to 2008 form, when he posted a 17-win season and a 3.21 ERA in 33 games. Since then, he has gone 13-12 in 41 starts. He is working his way back to full strength, and a change of scenery should help people forget about his 50-game suspension for PED's in 2010. Or did you already?
In 2011, Volquez went 5-7 in 20 games with a 5.71 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. Volquez saw a rise in home runs given up this past season, so a move to the NL West, which features the league's most spacious stadiums, should benefit him.
The move weakens the Padres rotation on paper, but Volquez could emerge as a good option down the stretch. The move is more about the big bats they acquired than the arms.
Boxberger, 23, is actually a decent relief prospect who pitched successfully at Double-A and Triple-A this past season, posting a combined 2.03 ERA and and K-to-BB ratio of 93-to-28.
The decision to convert him to a reliever may have been the best thing for him, as he struggled in 2010 in a spot starter role.
The Padres have a lot of young pitching, so this is a good opportunity for him, which will likely lead to making his big-league debut with the Padres at some point in the next two seasons.
Alonso is arguably the best offensive prospect the Reds have drafted since Jay Bruce. There certainly was not as much hype surrounding him, but he burst on the scene after a strong showing in Triple-A to hit an impressive .330 in 88 at-bats with 5 home runs.
Time will tell if his swing would have been better suited in Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark, but the smart former Miami Hurricane certainly has what it takes to play in the big leagues and will have more of an opportunity to get at-bats in San Diego.
Grandal made it all the way to Triple-A after starting the season in Single-A, no small feat for the former first-round pick also out of Miami. Grandal combined to hit .298 between Single-A and Double-A (101 games), with 14 home runs and a .385 OBP.
Grandal is considered a premier catcher, mostly because he possesses plus skills behind the plate but carries a big bat. The positive thing about Grandal, and Alonso for that matter, is that they hit for average and possess power, not just one or the other.
The Padres and new GM Josh Byrnes may have pulled a fast one, even if Mat Latos helps the Reds win in 2012. The Padres could be looking at two, if not three, long-term pieces to their franchise.
At the same time, how many deals have been discussed in the same tone? The Reds are going for the win now while the Padres are looking to build up some talent for a big run in less than five years.
Both teams are young but the Reds stacked their rotation without suffering a huge hit to their offense, even if they did sell some of their future pieces down the river.
The way contracts and money are being spent these days, teams need to get creative if they want to find upgrades.