MLB Trades: Cincinnati Reds Make BIG Mistake, San Diego Padres Hit Jackpot

Austin FoxCorrespondent IIDecember 19, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 5: Starter Edinson Volquez #36 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 5, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

With the acquisition of Mat Latos, the Reds now have a dangerous one-two punch to go along with Johnny Cueto at the top of their rotation (via the San Francisco Chronicle).

Acquiring Latos was an absolutely GREAT move; however, giving up both Edinson Volquez and Yonder Alonso was not.

Some will look at Volquez's numbers last year and assume that he isn't a very good pitcher.  Yes, he struggled last year, posting a 5.71 ERA, but you just simply cannot ignore the fact that he was one of the best pitchers in the game only a few years ago.

Volquez was absolutely dominant in 2008, as he was a very deserving candidate for the Cy Young.  Even though he has struggled since then, the Reds should not have given up on him already.

There have been two main reasons for his struggles the past three years: injuries and walks.  If he can stay healthy and regain his control, it would not be a surprise to see him return to his 2008 form.

And that is exactly what I think will happen to him in San Diego.  There is probably not a better park for a pitcher than PETCO, and Volquez will likely be an absolute star there.

Combine Volquez with guys like Tim Stauffer, Dustin Moseley and promising young starter Anthony Bass, and San Diego will yet again have one of the best rotations in baseball.

However, as we all know, pitching hasn't been San Diego's problem lately; it's been their offense.  Yonder Alonso will help to fill that void somewhat.

One of the best young prospects in baseball, Alonso will be an absolute force in the middle of that San Diego order.  In fact, he is so good that many experts thought he was considered "untouchable" by the Reds.

Alonso played in just under 50 games last year in his first season, and amazingly hit .330.  Even though PETCO is obviously not a hitter's park, it would be surprising if Alonso was not successful.

Losing Latos obviously won't help the Padres, but it won't hurt as much as people think.  You could argue that the acquisition of Volquez offsets the loss of Latos.

With that being said, we can't ignore the fact that Latos did struggle much of last year.  Even though he finished with a 3.47 ERA, that stat is a bit deceiving; his ERA was up over 4.00 for the majority of the season.

I'm not saying he will struggle again next year, but it has to at least be a concern.  I think Latos is one of the best young starters in the game, and in the long term, will be absolutely great for Cincinnati.

What they gave up, though, was just simply not worth it.  Alonso was a guy who could be the face of the franchise, if not for Joey Votto.

Volquez, on the other hand, has plenty of good years left in him.

The Reds got a great pitcher in Latos, but the Padres are the ones who hit the jackpot by acquiring Volquez and Alonso.