Cincinnati Reds: Is GM Walt Jocketty in a State of Desperation?

Diamond NotesCorrespondent IIIDecember 18, 2011

Mat Latos, Potential No.1
Mat Latos, Potential No.1Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in his article, "Reds get Latos at steep cost," that the Reds have acquired Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres.

At the conclusion of the winter meeting in Dallas, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty was very frustrated at the lack of action for the Reds.

Well, apparently the lack of action and quest for a front-end starter got the best of him and led to a desperate move. While I believe Jocketty is one of the best GMs in the game, this deal leaves me more than a little puzzled.

The deal sent three of the Reds' top prospects and Edinson Volquez to the Padres in exchange for Latos. The three prospects are first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal and future closer Brad Boxberger.

Latos has the "potential" to be a No.1 starter, but realistically, he currently is a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. He posted a 10-14 record with a 3.47 ERA last season, a slight decline from 2010, when he posted a 14-10 record with a 2.92 ERA.

The Padres must be beside themselves. In Volquez, they have someone who can replace and potentially out-perform Latos. In addition, they receive an MLB-ready first baseman in Alonso, a future closer in Boxberger and potential future All-Star catcher in Grandal.

Fay quoted Jocketty as saying, "You have to give up something to get a quality young pitcher like this. Potential No. 1 starters don't come along often."

That is true, but in my opinion, you should not give up a former All-Star and No.1 starter, potential all-star closer, catcher and first baseman.

The upside is that if Latos continues to pitch well and becomes a No.1 starter, the Reds have control over him, which Fay reported was the key for Jocketty.

"I wouldn't have made the deal if we didn't have that control," Jocketty said. "You're not only getting a potential No.1 starter, but you do have control of him and it's going to be a couple of years before he starts making big money. That's a very, very important part. Those kind of guys are hard to find."

I don't know about you, but I am sure I will follow the Padres a little closer this season than I have in the past.