Free agency is certainly starting to heat up, just recently Jeff Passan of Yahoo sports reported that the Cincinnati Reds are willing to discuss trades for Mat Latos, and Mike Leake.
Lotta talk about Reds SP, and other execs say it's legit: They're willing to discuss Mike Leake and Mat Latos. Johnny Cueto unlikely to go.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 11, 2014
Cincinnati seems to be open to trading anyone on their rotation except for Johnny Cueto but anything can happen. Pitching is something they are flexible with in terms of value; they would most likely trade Leake or Latos away for a big bat or two. The Reds were the third worst team in the MLB last season in scoring; they produced just 595 runs, which was 28th in the MLB. Cincinnati was also second to last in the MLB in hits with 1,282. With an already solid rotation, letting go of one of those pitchers for a guy or guys who are going to produce a lot of runs could help the Reds significantly. The Reds have been on the verge of reaching the next step for a few years now, but can’t seem to get over the hump.
Mat Latos and Mike Leake are both 26, and they both have a ton of upside. At 26, they’ve both established themselves as very reliable starting pitchers. The Reds will definitely have some decisions to make especially since they are both eligible for arbitration this year and eligible for free agency next year. Last season, Leake went 11-13 with an ERA of 3.70, and Latos went 5-5 with an ERA of 3.25.
Cincinnati has talent with Votto, Phillips, Shoemaker, Hamilton, etc.. but they’re lacking one or two guys who will consistently get hits and drive in RBIs. Votto had a down year, and Brandon Phillips isn’t getting any younger. Now could be the best time to make deals for Latos and Leake that could benefit the Reds in the future without having to risk losing them net year to free agency anyway.
nobody is going to want to give up anything for latos. with his injuries and inability to go more than 5 innings on a consistent basis without throwing a 100 pitches. add that to the fact he is a head case and what are they going to get in return? I have never seen a pitcher have meltdowns on the mound the way this guy does if he does not get a call or if there is an error in the field. I would wait until he proves during the season he is healthy and they can get good prospects in return. he will want a huge deal so you can depend on him having the best season he has ever had. Leak is a good young pitcher who should be kept because if they opt not to pay Cueto he and Bailey will be the top 2 starters while the young arms they have in the system learn on the job.
Guaranteed Latos gets a multi-year deal for somewhere around 12-14mm per. He is 26 years old and approaching the prime of his career. If rehabbed and coached properly, there is a very high chance the consistency issues and injuries will be nothing more than a memory. Now with the exception of a very select few like Madison Bumgardner, every good pitcher in baseball is a “head case.” For the most part, it is the only way to succeed on the hill. The best option for Cincinnati is to put Latos on the market now for an offensively consistent outfielder with a high OBP. Otherwise they run the risk of losing him to free-agency getting nothing in return.
nobody is going to give the reds anything of value for him until he proves that he is healthy. name another pitcher that is the head case this guy is who is supposed to be a great young starting pitcher. and if they let him walk they will get a supplemental draft pick for him not nothing as you claim. a good GM will be able to turn that into a good player, look at the cardinals. they got wacha in return when pujols left and he was starting in the playoffs for them less than a year later.
Yes they would get a supplemental draft pick for him but how many highly drafted players have never amounted to anything in professional baseball? It’s too much of a gamble. The Reds won’t get anything for him until he is healthy? He had a bruised elbow. His arm was over worked. This happens VERY often in young pitchers because their arms are not a custom to the volume of work that comes with being a major league pitcher. Yes there is risk in signing Latos without knowing his true health status but think about how many teams out there are in dire need of starting pitching. Think about how many teams may be legitimate contenders with the addition of Latos. There are 2014 playoff teams that could become favorites by rounding out their pitching staffs with a #2 or #3 starter like Latos. As far as hot heads go, Gerrit Cole is one of the best young starring pitchers in baseball and potentially one of the biggest hot heads in baseball. The dude started a bench clearing brawl last year because he did like a look he got after he gave up a triple. To stand on the mound staring at batter after batter and every single pitch having to convince yourself that you’re better than the other guy, that you are untouchable, takes a very cocky, hot head personality. It’s the nature of the position.