This afternoon, Bruce Lavine of 670 The Score announced via Twitter that the Washington Nationals had signed eight-year MLB veteran Mat Latos to a minor-league deal, pending a physical exam. According to Latos, who apparently broke the news to Lavine himself, he will report to minor-league spring training pending the completion of the deal.
After a successful start to his career in which he compiled a 3.34 ERA and 3.41 FIP over six seasons with San Diego and Cincinnati, Latos had a disastrous 2015 campaign. Splitting time between the Miami Marlins and both Los Angeles franchises, Latos racked up a whopping 4.95 ERA despite owning a relatively small 3.72 FIP.
This year, Latos started out looking as good as ever with the Chicago White Sox, winning each of his first four starts. Over that span, Latos threw 24.1 innings and allowed just two runs (both earned) on 13 hits and seven walks, striking out 13. After his April 24 start, his ERA sat at a measly 0.74, leaving many wondering if he was regaining some of the talent he displayed between 2010 and 2014.
Unfortunately for Latos and the White Sox, his next start began a string of unacceptable performances, as he allowed 50 hits — including nine home runs — over his last seven starts, spanning 36.0 innings. In that time frame, he owned a nearly even 19 to 18 strikeout-to-walk ratio. From the April 30 start through his last appearance with the White Sox, opponents batted .340/.402/.585 against the 28-year-old righty. Latos’ ERA over that stretch was 7.25, bringing his season mark to 4.61, with a 5.54 FIP to boot.
Despite leading the National League East by a somewhat comfortable margin for this time of year, the Nationals are in a bit of trouble with young ace Stephen Strasburg headed to the disabled list with an upper-back strain. Despite his poor performance over the last couple seasons, it seems the first-place Nats have decided to turn to the six-foot-six hurler to see if he can do anything to aid their rotation in Strasburg’s absence.