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Ex-MLBer Mat Latos Signs Contract with New Jersey Jackals of Independent League

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2018

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mat Latos delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, in New York, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Former major league pitcher Mat Latos is trying his hand at independent league baseball in 2018. 

The New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian-American Association announced Tuesday they inked Latos to a deal.

The right-hander last appeared in a Major League Baseball game during the 2017 season as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and played for the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals during his career.

"We are very proud to sign a player with Latos' pedigree and caliber," New Jersey Jackals general manager Joe Redmon said in the team's announcement. "He is one of our most prestigious acquisitions in team history and it will certainly energize our passionate fan base."

Latos struggled in three starts for Toronto last year and posted a 6.60 ERA to continue a stretch of ineffectiveness after finishing with a 4.89 ERA in 2016 and 4.95 ERA in 2015. Latos dealt with a handful of injuries during the latter portion of his MLB career as he watched his production dramatically fall off.

He was ace-like in 2010 as a member of the Padres with a 2.92 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 189 strikeouts in 31 starts and tallied a 3.31 ERA in three years with the Reds. He helped Cincinnati reach the playoffs twice during that span.

Latos is still just 30 years old, and this signing at least provides him the opportunity to prove himself again even if he is far from the major leagues.

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