According to several sources on twitter, the Reds have traded 1B Yonder Alonso to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Mat Latos.  Latos went 9-14 last season with a 3.47 ERA and 185 strikeouts.  He was 14-10 in 2010 with a 2.92 ERA and 189 strikeouts.

So the Reds add another starting pitcher to the rotation.  Thoughts on the trade?

Edit:  It now appears that Edinson Volquez, Brad Boxberger, and Yasmani Grandal are also headed to San Diego in the trade.

169 Responses

  1. lukeukcrazy

    I think the trade is good for the Reds. Latos turned 24 last week and has tons of potential. He did well this year. I think this is a good trade for the Reds.

  2. Steve Mancuso

    Of course we don’t know yet, beside Alonso, who the Reds have traded for Latos, but I’m excited about the acquisition. Latos is a great young pitcher with a good strikeout rate. His home/away splits, contrary to my expectations, are even.

    Latos is still pre-arbitration, playing for league minimum this year. Three more years of control.

    I bet the Reds gave up a lot for this trade. But it may be worth it.

  3. lukeukcrazy

    I think the trade is good for the Reds. Latos turned 24 last week and has tons of potential. He did well this year.

  4. lukeukcrazy

    Edinson Volquez included in the deal, tweets Ken Rosanthal. 😀

  5. Bill Lack

    Reds acquire SD’s Mat Latos for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez is what I’ve just read. That’s giving up a LOT of talent, hope it was worth it.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    According to the Reds: Reds acquire SD’s Mat Latos for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez

  7. Jason Linden

    Steep price, but I definitely come down on the pro side. Still three years of team control. This looks like a good trade. Also, now we can all stop worrying about Volquez in the rotation.

  8. RedLegHerrm

    Latos
    Cueto
    Chapman (Bronson/Wood since Chapman’s IP’s will be limited)
    Leake
    Homer

    How that’s rotation look?

    • Bill Lack

      @RedLegHerrm:

      Latos
      Cueto
      Chapman (Bronson/Wood since Chapman’s IP’s will be limited)
      Leake
      Homer

      How that’s rotation look?

      Bronson will be in the rotation…like it or not.

  9. RedLegHerrm

    The question now is who the hell plays LF?

  10. Jason Linden

    Also, the Reds rotation is what now? Something like this:

    1. Cueto
    2. Latos
    3. Leake/Chapman
    4. Wood/Bailey
    5. Arroyo

    I can certainly live with that. I wonder if they’ll trade on of the extra starters or part ways with Arroyo. Of course, they needed all hands last year.

  11. RedLegHerrm

    @Jason Linden: I’d trade one of our extra starters to go get a guy like Seth Smith to platoon with Heisey.

  12. Steve Mancuso

    One great thing about the Latos acquisition, he’s working for league minimum this year, plus three years of team control after that.

    It leaves the Reds some cash to acquire a LF in a trade or free agency.

    We gave up a lot in this trade, but Volquez is the only one of these players with significant major league time. Grandal and Boxberger are just prospects.

    Latos certainly fills the bill as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

  13. CKeever

    I like the deal. I’m glad Volquez is gone. If we can keep Votto long term the deal will be even sweeter, otherwise we might really miss Alonso. Cueto, Latos, and Chapman have the potential to be great starting pitchers. It was a lot to give up but I think and hope Latos is worth it.

  14. Steve Mancuso

    I wonder if this changes the Reds plans for Chapman? I’m sure Baker will be pushing again for Chapman to be the closer.

    Maybe the Reds aren’t done trading. Now they could include a young SP in a trade to pick up an OF.

  15. Steve Mancuso

    I’d rather have Latos than James Shields, given the difference in salary and duration of team control. This trade actually clears the Reds of some salary – $3-4 million between Volquez and Alonso.

  16. Jason Linden

    @Steve Mancuso: I’ll tell you what I’d really like to see is them bring Chapman along slowly. There’s no way he’s ready to be a full time starter, but now they should have enough depth to have him go 1/2 or 2/3 of the season while someone else takes up the slack.

  17. strunkdafied

    I think the Reds gave up way too much in this trade. And i bet they bring back Cordero now that Boxberger is out of the question to close out games. I was also looking forward to seeing a slimmer Alonso in LF.

  18. Jason in Toronto

    I think it’s a bit much to give up. I was holding out hope for Boxy to be our closer in ’12 or ’13.

  19. strunkdafied

    And i really hope this doesn’t mean that they trade for Seth Smith now. I don’t really care for him.

  20. Jason in Toronto

    Left field can be manned quite ably by Chris Heisey. We still have Sappelt and Phipps to bring in if he can’t. Let’s stop looking for what we don’t need. Unless we bring in a bigger name at LF, rather than the Seth Smiths, Jeremy Hermidas and whomever else we’ve been linked to, we don’t need one.

  21. jdm00

    It is a bit more than I would like to have given up, but young starting pitching isn’t going to be cheap.

    Yonder wasn’t going to play in LF anyway, I guess. I hope that Heisey/Stubbs/Sappelt (maybe with some Frazier tossed in, and a decent bargain FA pickup) CF and LF can be productive enough.

  22. Steve Mancuso

    Alonso was going to be a LF platoon, at best, assuming his defense could improve (and I think it would have been fine).

    Grandal long-term probably blocked by Mesoraco.

    Volquez is addition by subtraction. He couldn’t even stay with the major league team last year. Just a player Dusty Baker wants to overuse now no longer around.

    Boxberger has shown promise as a closer, but hasn’t proven anything at the major league level yet.

    If it was thought the Reds had around $6 million of payroll room for this year, now that’s more like $10 million. Maybe there is a move left for a serious OF.

  23. hermanbates

    Trade Sappelt and Wood or Bailey for Carlos Quentin

    I love this trade. Yonder wasn’t going to be used well enough, Grandal wasn’t gonna stick around, and Volquez and Boxberger arent Latos. Love this.

  24. Steve Mancuso

    Jocketty comments that Latos slots in behind Cueto. I expect Latos to outperform Cueto this year. Fay tweets that Jocketty expects more trades. That has to mean acquiring an OF or closer. Hopefully the former.

  25. Jason Linden

    Fay just tweeted that Jocketty expects more trades. Apparently, the money saved is going to have some kind of effect. This offseason is suddenly much more gratifying than last offseason. Now, if only they had Taveras.

  26. CP

    I like the deal. Latos in GABP will be interesting. I think Alonso will be shipped out soon from San Diego somewhere else. 20 homeruns for him in Petco is a stretch. And they have a better prospect in Anthony Rizzo already there. Surely they won’t leave Alonso in LF?

  27. Steve Mancuso

    C. Trent is tweeting that Jocketty says we’ll spend the extra money (est. $3.5 million) on free agency hitting. And that he expects to still make another trade for pitching.

    I hope we don’t give up too much for a closer.

    • pinson343

      Steve M.: C. Trent is tweeting that Jocketty says we’ll spend the extra money (est. $3.5 million) on free agency hitting. And that he expects to still make another trade for pitching.

      I hope we don’t give up too much for a closer.

      Right on all counts. A LFer bat who interests me is Seth Smith, he kills RHed pitching, and the Rockies are dangling him. We’d have to trade one of the young starters, that’s OK with me as long as it’s not Cueto (obviously) or Leake or Chapman.

  28. redhaze20

    Who for left field now? Quentin, Martin Prado, Carlos Beltran? I like Prado because of his flexibility.

  29. Bill Lack

    Just read quote that Boxberger was key to the deal and SD wouldn’t have done it w/o him included.

  30. Jason in Toronto

    Carlos Quentin? This isn’t 2008. The guy can’t stay healthy (116 games avg. the last 3 seasons), can’t hit for average (.244 in those same 3 seasons), but I guess has been relatively productive. Look at Heisey’s numbers…they both hit .254, Heisey trails in power numbers (18 and 50, compared to 24 and 77), but Quentin’s is in almost 200 more plate appearances…

    Let’s keep Heisey in left.

  31. Aaron Lehr

    Running out so I didn’t have time to read every comment…

    Haven’t looked deeply into Latos’ stats yet but I’m excited for the trade. Volquez means nothing. Grandal is expendable. Alonso is sad but we knew it was going to happen. Boxberger is slightly disappointing only because he was good cheap bullpen candidate, but as Jason just said closer should always be your last priority.

    Yes it’s a lot but seriously I don’t think we could have hoped to give up any less for what we got.

    Can’t wait for this year!

  32. Steve Mancuso

    This is one off-season move that Dusty Baker won’t frustrate by refusing the play the player where the GM intends. See Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria.

  33. Jason in Toronto

    Remember, Heisey did his damage in 279 at-bats. Which doesn’t mean that getting another 279 in a season doubles his output (although that would be nice, 36 and 100?). But even if he ramps it up a little, and in 550 at bats hits 28 and drives in 80-90, isn’t that what we need?

  34. zblakey

    Its a lot to give up, but the Reds need a top of the rotation guy to have any chance in the playoffs (see 2010).

    Remaining trade chips? Bailey, Wood, or Leake??? Hate to give up on young arms.

    Perhaps sign Dimitri Young to platoon in LF and spell Votto at 1B, would be low cost, possible high reward (good pinch-hitter, too).

  35. Jason Linden

    I’m currently catching myself up on the free agent market, since I didn’t expect the Reds to be involved there, but what about Beltran for LF? It looks like he’ll sign for something around $10M/yr. Sure, there are health concerns, but if he’s healthy, that’s an awesome deal.

    • secondguessingfanbase

      The Reds’ needs were clear; expensive but clear. Frontline pitcher, closer, LF. Now that one is down and the closer situation will most likely be solved, it’s time for the Reds to grab a proven hitter and go for the World Series. If Rolen is healthy it could be a good team.

      • zblakey

        If Rolen is healthy it could be a good team.

        Thats a BIG if, but if he is, the Reds could be a great team.

  36. eric nyc

    My instant reaction was that we gave up too much for a middle-of-the-rotation guy. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense. I would have LOVED to have seen what a Phillips/Votto/Alonso/Bruce heart of the order could have done…At GABP it could have broken offensive records. But the truth of the matter is Alonso just didn’t have a place here and we had to choose between moving him or Votto. You can crunch all the cold hard baseball facts you want, but it’s really hard to trade away a Joey Votto.

    So Jockety’s only real options were whether or not to go for a guy like James Shields who could come in and be a #1 but cost a boatload more in salary, or go after a young guy with some upside who you know is at least going to be a #3 for a couple of years, and can hopefully improve into a #2 behind Cueto. It’s not going to be the Phillies rotation, but it’s an improvement. I like Latos better than Gio Gonzales, who was really the only other name being floated. Grandal was always just a trading chip waiting to be moved and not having to worry about Volquez anymore is a relief. I would have liked to have kept Boxberger. I think fi Heath Bell hadn’t left SD then this deal probably could have gotten done exactly the same without mentioning Boxberger’s name. So on that one the Padres probably got the better end. All in all, we were in a tough spot and probably did the best we could have done without completely re-engineering the entire roster, which I think everyone agrees we didn’t need to do.

    Alonso is going to be a superstar. This was one of those smart baseball moves that improves the team but doesn’t look very flashy on paper. I think Jockety will get ripped in the local media for not bringing in a marquee name in exchange for Alonso, but I am content. Not thrilled, but content. We really should spend the money we just freed up on a big bat in the outfield – either in LF or CF if we think we can improve on Stubbs. Even if it’s a one year deal, 2012 is going to be a great year for us in the division. Pujols and likely Fielder gone, the Cubs rebuilding, and Braun missing a third of the season on suspension. An improved rotation and one more bat could let us run away with the division this year.

  37. CKeever

    Dmitri Young is 38 yrs old and hasn’t played in the MLB since ’08. I hope we don’t go that route. I’d much rather see Frazier/Heisey in left than sing a dud like Fred Lewis or Dmitri Young. And the more I think about how bad Alonso played in left field last year, the better I feel about this trade.

  38. zblakey

    Check out the article on fangraphs.com – good commentary on the trade: “That’s some pretty good company Latos has been keeping. There aren’t that many pitchers in the sport who can miss bats with the frequency that Latos has established while also pounding the strike zone with regularity. Guys who can live in the zone and still avoid contact are generally the best pitchers in the sport. This is the one skillset you want in a pitcher more than any other. “

  39. secondguessingfanbase

    Gave up the farm but we’ll see, a GM can’t underestimate the power of having two aces going back to back days. It gives a team confidence only big signings or blockbuster trades can buy.

  40. Jason Linden

    @eric nyc: What’s your definition of #1? Latos has great peripherals. Could easily be on one of the best pitchers in the league.

  41. wildwestLV

    I like this. Latos is solid (saw him pitch a few games in person). The other good news is that Petco Park is my preferred “local” MLB ballpark out here, so I’ll get to see some Yonder Alonso action at the plate without having to fly back to the Nati. The bad news, though, is that I now also might have to see some Edinson Volquez “action” on the mound. Too bad Bud Black wasn’t included in this deal. (I KID, I KID) 😛

  42. eric nyc

    @Jason Linden: Yeah, the more I read up on him the more I’m starting to agree with you. I think it’s just because he’s so young and hasn’t really been on the national radar as a potential ace. But when you look at his numbers there’s a lot to like and you have to assume at 24 that he still has a decent amount of upside. I’m coming around. As of right now he’s probably our #2 and he could definitely push Cueto for the #1 spot. Not that it matters much – you need at least 2 or 3 of those guys in your rotation anymore.

  43. Jason Linden

    @eric nyc: Totally agree with you. I had to look him up a bit myself. I’d been really focused on Shields, though now I wonder what the Rays are asking for him if this is what it took to get Latos.

  44. RedLeg75

    Good work, Walt! Latos has the upside of a #1, under team control thru 2015. Comes with some durability questions (shoulder bursitis early ’11), but if he was perfect, he wouldn’t have been available in the first place.

    Would have been nice to have gotten this done a week earlier so as could’ve snagged Willingham to play LF. Time to see what’s left on the market.

  45. Joestn

    My guess for next year’s rotation knowing dusty is
    1. Cueto
    2. Arroyo
    3. Latos
    4. Leake
    5. Chapman
    I’m a little nervous about Latos considering the Petco-to-GABP transition.

  46. Sean

    @Bill Lack: This was the part of the deal I was most disappointed in. I really thought he could be the Closer of the future.

  47. zblakey

    Free agency likely the route for a closer. Trading for an OF. Young arms should be able to pry a decent bat, if not, here comes Dimitri Young!

  48. Drew Mac

    I like the trade. Got some salary off the books, closers are hard to project, Alonso’s defense was going to cost the Reds, and Grandal is blocked (and we kept the better prospect). I have to wonder what will be done with the salary freed up. Is it possible that they may still pursue Shields? . . .

  49. LVW

    I wonder if this is the 1st time ever that 2 former 1st round picks by the same team from the same school were included in the same trade by 1 team.

  50. eric nyc

    @zblakey: The OF is the biggest concern. I don’t think we’re going to have the kind of All World defense we had a couple years ago, so if Rolen isn’t healthy or is on the decline, then Francisco can come in and be another quality bat in the lineup. What worries me most is that Heisey hasn’t shown he can be effective playing everyday and I’m just not sold on Drew Stubbs. Stubbs is going to start 150 games in CF this year no matter what, and depending on who we bring in to either start in LF or platoon with Heisey, he’s probably going to be leading off, too. So a WHOLE LOT is going to come down to whether or not he’s able to make progress getting his SO’s down. For some reason I’m just really pessimistic about it. I see him having the same problem this year that he did last.

    So hopefully the added offense from Cozart will be enough. I’m also still waitng for Jay Bruce to explode. I’m more optimistic on that front than I am on the Stubbs one.

    • zblakey

      So hopefully the added offense from Cozart will be enough. I’m also still waitng for Jay Bruce to explode. I’m more optimistic on that front than I am on the Stubbs one.

      I certainly agree with you on that. Need another bat, if not Bruce has to be a ton more consistent. Or Stubbs strike out less. Betting on Bruce!

  51. al

    @eric nyc: i think it’s pretty safe to say that phillips will be leading off to start the year. after how well he did, and all the publicity he got for going to dusty, i think it’s a lock.

    is heisey a cleanup hitter? that’s the big question right now. if he can put up the same rate stats over a the course of a year, then i’m happy with him. that’s a big if though.

    where does meso hit? he stunk up the joint for a few games, but he hit like a cleanup hitter in AAA.

    as of today, i think this is your lineup:

    phillips
    cozart
    votto
    heisey
    bruce
    rolen
    stubbs
    meso

  52. Gregg

    My only problem with this trade is including Brad Boxberger. The other pieces are good, but not needed in the Reds organization. Now the reds don’t have any minor league talent to fill the closer role and the reds do need a closer.

  53. RedLegHerrm

    Seeing a lot of comments from talent evaluators that SD made an absolute killing with this deal. Hope we know what we’re doing.

  54. al

    fay tweets that the reds have free agent money to do a deal like willingham’s. is there a FA bat that would be better than heisey?

    • al

      fay tweets that the reds have free agent money to do a deal like willingham’s.is there a FA bat that would be better than heisey?

      whoops, fay says the DON’T have the money. guess that answers that question.

  55. al

    @RedLegHerrm: i think it’s pretty clear that in terms of overall talent, SD wins this trade.

    but that’s not really the point. the reds weren’t going to have votto and alonso and grandal and meso and 8 starting pitchers all on the field at the same time.

    the reds needed to consolidate their talent in all of these redundant parts into one top starter, and they did just that.

  56. eric nyc

    @RedLegHerrm: Bottom line is the Padres were in a better bargaining position than we were. We had big league talent and nowhere to put it. They had a young starting pitcher with the upside to be an ace. If anything you maybe question the judgement of drafting Alonso in the first round just as you’re seeing Joey Votto mature into a star, and the same with Grandal when you’ve got Mesoraco. But if Latos turns into an All Star SP I don’t think anyone will think we got fleeced.

  57. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: Latos already is nearly an All Star starting pitcher, really, if he’s not. Last two years his FIP is 3 and 3.47. I wonder where that ranks him in the NL.

    If anything, this shows that you *don’t* question the drafting of redundant parts, and instead you draft the best player available. If the guy’s blocked, you trade him for Mat Latos.

    • pinson343

      Dave L.:@eric nyc: Latos already is nearly an All Star starting pitcher, really, if he’s not.Last two years his FIP is 3 and 3.47.I wonder where that ranks him in the NL.

      If anything, this shows that you *don’t* question the drafting of redundant parts, and instead you draft the best player available.If the guy’s blocked, you trade him for Mat Latos.

      I agree with all of the above. Latos’ peripherals are outstanding. The blog-world thinks the Reds were duped because they look at Latos’ 9-14, as if that means anything.

      And I liked the drafting of both Alonso and Grandal, this is why you draft the best available talent.

  58. Dave Lowenthal

    I’m guessing what happened with this deal is that Jocketty held out for as long as he could for a Alonso/Grandal/Volquez/XXX deal, where XXX was someone other than Boxberger. Finally, he gave in. If that’s correct, then he got a lot of undeserved criticism from people on this web site.

    Overall, I think the Reds sold high on Alonso. Who knows, he could be an other Votto, but I doubt it. He might be a good fit for SD (as good as one can be hitting wise, as he’s a doubles hitter anyways IMO). I assume they are going to put him at first. Else, it’ll be a disaster. Grandal, I like him, but they were going to trade him. Volquez, I’m happy to let SD figure out what to do with him. I wonder what he’ll make, and if he does well, which is possible, what the Pads will pay him going forward. I’m happy to be out of the Volquez game. Boxberger, sure, I’d like to have him, but they’re also selling high on him—let’s face it. He does not seem like the ideal closer for that ballpark. The last thing you want there is guys walking people.

    Al’s right that SD wins the “overall talent” here, and is also right that in any trade the Reds were going to make, that was going to be the case. Thank god they didn’t get Garza or Wade Davis.

    I’m a little worried about Latos in GABP, but he has been good on the road. I also seem to remember an arm issue last year, which worried me WAY more. Can someone else comment on that?

    More important: are the Reds going to do something idiotic now like make Chapman the closer? Or panic for the closer and overspend on Cordero?

  59. crypticphrasing

    I’m happy to see Volquez gone. As long as Latos stays healthy, this will be a good deal for the Reds. How many spots on the 40-man roster does this deal clear for the Reds?

  60. Dave Lowenthal

    And it starts…

    Jocketty says plan is still to start Chapman. “We can always change later on.”

    #Reds will look at signing a free agent closer. “We’ll talk with (Cordero) again.”

    Good lord. It can’t just be a good day, can it?

  61. Dave Lowenthal

    The one thing about this move that stands out to me is that if the Reds don’t idiotically move Chapman to closer, and they somehow make the postseason, they could deactivate Arroyo (like SF did with Zito) and go with a 4 man rotation of Cueto, Latos, Chapman, and (Leake/Bailey/Wood/whoever is best). When Chapman pitches, you simply throw him for a limited number of innings and bring the pen in. You fortify the pen in July (assuming things are going well) in a similar way the Cards did (but without trading a Colby Rasmus, which I do think is possible). To me, this finally gives the Reds a rotation that, while isn’t as good as say the Phillies, can at least stand up to the other teams in a short series.

  62. Sultan of Swaff

    Hate to humblebrag, but I was beating the Latos drum hard since the season ended. Good to see! Al put it best above, we consolidated all the redundancies. We have a chance to win a world series NOW!!!

  63. pinson343

    I’m in favor of the trade, WJ had to pull the trigger on this. The word out on blog-land is that the Reds gave up “too much”, but “too much” was necessary to land a young starting pitcher of Latos’ caliber.

    And “too much” of what ? “Too much talent.” I’d much prefer wins to talent right now, I’m tired of hearing how much talent the Reds have. They had a losing record last year, for crap’s sake.

    It was a given that Grandal and Alonso were going to be included in a trade for a top of the line starter. Losing Boxberger does hurt, but he is after all a minor league relief pitcher.

    Dumping Volquez is a plus.

  64. George Culver

    The Reds paid the price for not having any other alternative to address their greatest weakness. Congrats to WJ on pulling the trigger on a deal that, although expensive, made the most sense and nailed shut the number one hole.

    Now they need to realize and learn that they need to draft and develop their own young starters so as not to be in the same position again.

    I would love to see them pull another deal for another pitching upgrade.

  65. wildwestLV

    I get emails from Padres.com and the headline for this trade reads like this, “PADRES ACQUIRE EDINSON VOLQUEZ AND THREE TOP PROSPECTS FROM REDS”. Would have thought Alonso would have taken top honors. Maybe third time’s the charm for EV. Wish him the best. He’ll probably turn in a Cy Young type year now, go figure (but the Tucson Padres play the Las Vegas 51s quite a few times and I have a feeling that I’ll be seeing him up close and personal in our AAA park).

  66. Dave Lowenthal

    @pinson343: Another point to Eric about the drafting of redundant parts: Josh Byrnes just traded for Alonso, who is a redundant part (they have Rizzo who they got for AGon last year, and he’s a 1B). Byrnes just I’m sure figures he’ll figure it out later. It’s the right move for them. One of them will be gone by this time next year, for a good haul.

    And as another person at FanGraphs said, Volquez is actually a reasonable acquisition for them if they play it right—Petco will control his HRs, and if he has a good first half he ought be on the first plane out for as much as they can get. The Pads are in a totally different situation. The Reds don’t have time to “bleep” around with Volquez. They have very little time before Votto probably is on a different team. The Pads have tons of time. They have the means to carry his risk around.

  67. Dave Lowenthal

    Jason linked to Dave Cameron’s post at FanGraphs. The main downside risk to this deal is whether Latos stays healthy, whether he can handle the increased workload. Such is life.

  68. George Culver

    Oh, and the deal frees up a bunch of spots on the 40 man roster taken by minor league players who were not going to be called up any time soon.

  69. Dave Lowenthal

    @wildwestLV: Headline should have been: Pads acquire promising 1B prospect Yonder Alonso, two prospects, and one very possibly washed up 1/2-year wonder who tells the media the offense needs to score more just after giving up 5 runs in the first inning.

  70. pinson343

    @Dave Lowenthal: You raise an important point: Votto. This trade has a lot to do with Joey. The Reds have him for two more seasons – let’s win in those two seasons.

    And if the Reds do win, revenue picks up, etc., it improves the slim chance of extending Votto.

  71. Dave Lowenthal

    @pinson343: To stop at this point would be foolish. In my mind the Reds have just passed the commit point. They are now all in.

  72. pinson343

    I respect the opinions (on this blog of informed fans !) of those who are upset that we gave up so much in this trade, but I pose a question for them.

    How do you stand on making this trade for a starter vs. no trade at all for a starter ? If WJ made the best deal available (and I belive he did), then that’s the relevant comparison.

  73. pinson343

    @Dave Lowenthal: Right, I’m excited about what develops from here. WJ will pick up another bat, presumably a LFer.

    But I also fear the same thing that you do: the return of CoCo.

  74. eric nyc

    I was never really AGAINST drafting Alonso or Grandal. I’m just saying it put us in a position where, when making a trade like this, we probably did have to pay a bit on the steeper side to get who we wanted. Another way to look at it is that SD got two everyday players who COULD both turn out to be very good (Alonso is the best hitting prospect in baseball) and a former All Star SP who very well could come around and be a contribution to their rotation. If 1 of those 3 guys turns out to be a star, they’re set. We have all our eggs in the Mat Latos basket. If he pans out, it was a great trade. If he doesn’t, we got fleeced. It’s what you have to do to get quality starting pitching – I get that – but when you draft redundant position players it forces you to take risks like this when it comes time to deal.

    Not complaining, just responding to the whole “who got the better end of the deal” question. When you’ve got Brandon Phillips for one more year, Joey Votto for two, Aroldis Chapman for three…you have to start thinking of ways to win now. This was a win now trade, and I think a good one. At the very least, the best we could have possibly made.

    • pinson343

      eric nyc:
      This was a win now trade, and I think a good one. At the very least, the best we could have possibly made.

      Exactly. I was just reading on mlbtraderumors about 3 other teams making serious offers on Latos. There was only one way to land him: outbid those 3 teams. SD was in the driver’s seat for this trade, and the Reds did what they had to do.

  75. Steve Mancuso

    The Reds just acquired a #1 SP (with all due respect to Cueto, Latos is a better pitcher). He is 24 years old. He is controlled for four years. Not a loaner. Four years. He will likely be one of the top ten pitchers in the NL.

    The Reds GAINED more than $3 million in payroll room. Latos will make less than $500,000 this year.

    We did not give up a single full-time starting position player. We did not give up a single pitcher from our final 2011 major league roster. Two of the players we traded have not played a single major league game.

    I’ll be even more happy about this trade if the Reds plow the money saved and other trade assets (Wood, Heisey) into a LF, instead of a closer.

    • pinson343

      Steve M.:

      I’ll be even more happy about this trade if the Reds plow the money saved and other trade assets (Wood, Heisey) into a LF, instead of a closer.

      I feel the same way. And once again I’ll mention Seth Smith.

  76. Steve Mancuso

    In contrast, in the Zach Grienke trade, the Brewers gave up two starting players (SS and CF) and paid Grienke $13.5 million last year, and Grienke is a free agent at the end of 2012.

  77. Sultan of Swaff

    @pinson343: I’m with you, Seth Smith is a great buy low opportunity. Really nice OBP, with power numbers that will play up in GABP.
    This creates a ton of questions around Bailey and Chapman. Do you send whomever doesn’t win the #5 job to AAA or to the bullpen?

  78. George Culver

    @eric nyc: I totally agree that if the Reds would have drafted and developed top pitching instead of Alonso and Grandal they would not have been in the position to have to overpay 4 for 1 to get top pitching.

  79. Steve Mancuso

    Was just reading a long post that was mostly critical of the trade from the Reds standpoint. Then I got to the last sentence:

    This deal probably makes the Reds the favorite to win the NL Central in 2012.

    🙂

  80. Sultan of Swaff

    @Steve Mancuso: Good point. Compared to the Brewers trade, I’d rather have ours….and the difference is that we were dealing from a position of strength, the Brewers weren’t. Drafting well matters, people!!
    Now time to play what-if. What if we could’ve had Garza for less or Pineda for the same? I’d give anything to be able to compare the deals that were on the table.

  81. eric nyc

    Now the most important question: How do you pronounce his last name? LAY-tose? La-TOSS? La-TOSE?

  82. pinson343

    @Sultan of Swaff: In answer to your question: if Chapman doesn’t make the rotation, send him to AAA. If Bailey doesn’t make the rotation, send him to the bullpen.

  83. eric nyc

    @George Culver: To be fair, it’s not like we’ve ignored pitching in the draft. Leake, Wood, Bailey. Leake, particularly, is the wildcard there. He’s going into his third full major league season now. That is typically when elite pitchers start showing that they’re elite. There is the possibility that he shows up in April and starts throwing like Cliff Lee, and that’s not really that outlandish of a possibility. Really, if he shows ANY improvement over last year (when he was a solid #3 SP) and has the added endurance to finally take on a full workload, our rotation is going to be VASTLY improved.

  84. pinson343

    @pinson343: PS Actually, I’d rather send Arroyo to the bullpen than Homer, if it comes to that, but it isn’t going to happen.

  85. wildwestLV

    The real question is: How does Mike’s prison tats stand up against Mat’s ink?

  86. Redsfanx

    This is what the Reds needed; the addition of a frontline starting pitcher. The closer can come out of the relief core we now have. In trading Alonso, I think the owner will go all out to extend Votto after 2013 because he is the offensive cornerstone of the team. Now, either give Heisey a chance to play left and bat cleanup, or else make a deal for a righthanded cleanup hitter. Other than that, it looks to me like the team is pretty well set for 2012.

  87. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: Eric: Alonso is nowhere near the best hitting prospect in MLB. Also, Volquez is a former all star because the all star team is picked based on 3 months of data.

    You are right though, SD got the better end of the deal, likely, if you simply add up the talent.

  88. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve Mancuso: I agree 100% with this and it bugs me that Jocketty thinks that Cueto is the #1 and Latos the #2, frankly. Not that it matters functionally, but more that he doesn’t understand that Latos is more likely to put up a lower ERA in 2012 than Cueto. Doesn’t mean he will, but he’s more likely to.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I agree 100% with this and it bugs me that Jocketty thinks that Cueto is the #1 and Latos the #2, frankly. Not that it matters functionally, but more that he doesn’t understand that Latos is more likely to put up a lower ERA in 2012 than Cueto. Doesn’t mean he will, but he’s more likely to.

      I think Walt was just being courteous to the Reds current #1 pitcher. In the same way that Dusty Baker is going to let Cueto start on Opening Day, no matter how much better Latos may be in Spring Training. You can book it right now that Baker will announce, even before the first pitch is thrown in Goodyear, that Cueto will start Opening Day. Jocketty’s comment was in line with that. As you say, it doesn’t really matter functionally. I believe

      Walt knows what he got in Latos. The bundle of talent we’re sending off to San Diego is surely evidence of that.

  89. Dave Lowenthal

    @pinson343: How about: if Bailey doesn’t make it, send Arroyo to the moon. If Chapman doesn’t make it, send Arroyo to the moon.

  90. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: It is outlandish to expect Leake to throw like Cliff Lee next year.

  91. BJ Ruble

    It was a calculated risk. All the players traded were expendable in their own ways:

    Alonso – He was blocked by Votto and had to be included to get a pitcher of any value.

    Grandal – He is more expensive than Mesoraco and not nearly as good defensively or with the power. He was clearly blocked and too expensive to have marinating in the minors.

    Volquez – Too much of a wild card, he had to go one way or another. There was not a spot for him unless he regained command of the strikezone.

    Boxberger – Reportedly, the Padres don’t do the deal without him. Frankly, you get that close to getting a possible ace, you don’t let a reliever stand in the way of that. He has a very nice arm, but he is no more than a reliever.

    You have to give up some quality to get quality and Latos (for better or worse) was the most attractive SP available, has the most upside of any available, and is team controlled for 4 more years! My first reaction was too much, but the Reds have a two year window to get after it while they have Votto under control so they had to go big.

    Another thing is that Walt possibly sold high on all three of the prospects, lots of guys have a year that makes them a top 3 prospect to an after thought (most recently Todd Frazier). So, all three guys had good years, you might not get the same value mid-season if they struggle on their next level. Walt always seems like a conservative guy, but he was aggressive and got the guy they wanted and that speaks volumes for the ownership group.

  92. BJ Ruble

    What is lost in all of this is that because of the Reds scouting and drafting, they are able to make a deal like this. How long did the Reds go without having any first round picks pan out? The organization as a whole has improved drastically from the years that drained the system from any home grown talent.

    And to the ones that were saying the Reds should have drafted and developed pitchers instead of drafting Alonso and Grandal, it is not that simple. Developing pitchers is one of, if not the hardest thing to do. The Reds have made significant strides in that aspect as well…Cueto, Bailey, Wood, and Leake were all drafted and developed. How many home grown pitchers made a difference in the past 25 years…Tom Browning and Brett Tomko, who else?

  93. pinson343

    Jim Bowden: “The most lopsided trade I’ve witnessed in recent memory as the Padres swindle the Reds.”

    To my mind, this confirms that the Reds have made a good trade.

  94. David

    At first blush, it seems like a lot, but mostly because the Reds included BOTH Boxberger and Grandal. I hate that the Reds included Grandal. You can never have enough catching. I remember the Rangers with Teagarden, Ramirez and Salty. None of those guys panned out. But, I like the addition of Latos.

    The Reds still have quite a bit remaining in their system. It will be very interesting to see what else the Reds add. I’d love to see a Reds trade of Votto to the Marlins for Logan Morrison, Gabby Sanchez and Anibal Sanchez.

  95. BJ Ruble

    @David: Tucker Barnhart could be as good a player as Grandal. He is younger, cheaper, and will play better defense. So they still have some great depth in that position.

  96. pinson343

    @BJ Ruble: Good points about the difficulty of developing a home-grown pitcher. In the late 90’s and early 00’s, the Reds drafted a pitcher in the first round every season and they all went down with arm injuries.

    I remember a well-researched article by a sabermetrics guy that claimed there’s no such thing as a pitching prospect.

  97. secondguessingfanbase

    Losing Volquez was risky because if Arroyo doesn’t bounce back, you have his, Chapman’s and Bailey’s inconsistency and not much at AAA to help ballast outside of Leake. In other words, Latos better be good or the Reds’ rotation could take a nosedive despite all that talent. However I understand why the Reds simply had to move forward without Edinson. I think the Padres can get him right again and make it a great trade for them. Not as hot on Boxberger as some.

  98. pinson343

    @BJ Ruble: Your summary of what the Reds gave up is the best I’ve seen.

  99. pinson343

    @pinson343: In the late 90′s and early 00′s, the Reds drafted a pitcher in the first round *** almost *** every season, not every season.

  100. secondguessingfanbase

    I know we can all debate if the dollars we sent San Diego exceeded the Euros in value that they sent Cincinnati, I’m just elated that the Reds found it in themselves to move some guys out of town in order to get better while their window is open. Now if they don’t address LF with an actual solution and we end up with a Fred Lewis or Heisey for 150 games, this is the same franchise, only thinner in talent and bargaining strength. It will also be the same team as 2010, going down in the divisional playoff lifelessly.

  101. vegastypo

    My first reaction was, “Oh no. Walt panicked and gave up too much.” But if the Reds control Latos for four years, that makes a big difference to me. He gets batters to swing and miss, which also impresses me. He got beat by the Reds in San Diego early in 2011 because he hung a breaking ball to Mohawk Gomes for a 2-run homer that turned a 2-1 Padres lead into a 3-2 Reds win. Heisey had homered as well for the Reds’ first run. Otherwise, Latos was very impressive that night. (Ironically, so was Volquez, after a rough first two innings.)

    If the Padres use Alonso and Volquez and get results right now, and Grandal and Boxberger produce down the road, so be it. But we got what we think could put us over the top, with a little salary room to spare.

    I believe the Reds’ fate now could hinge on how much Rolen can produce. If he hits, it takes some of the onus off whoever plays left field (assuming we don’t go out and get a big bopper there).

  102. Dave Lowenthal

    @secondguessingfanbase: Keeping Volquez was risky. I mean, I’m not surprised you think the Pads can make him right—wouldn’t you have said any organization could? You thought the Reds minor league system could also.

    The Pads will “make him right” for some definition of that phrase, just by virtue of Petco. His ERA won’t be 5.71 again; that seems impossible for a pitcher pitching at Petco. I’d be interested to hear what you would consider “right”. Just so we have an idea ahead of time. Were Volquez to regain the form you say he can, shouldn’t he post an ERA of around 2 pitching in that cavern?

    I don’t see how keeping a guy with the kind of incredibly high variance of Volquez is protection against the incredibly high variance of Arroyo et al.

  103. Dave Lowenthal

    @vegastypo: If the Reds’ fate hinges on Rolen they shouldn’t have made this deal.

  104. Dave Lowenthal

    @secondguessingfanbase: How in the world can you say that? I think they should try to make the ballclub better, but if they bring the same offense back (let’s just say) that they had last year, with a vastly improved rotation, how does that equate to the same result as 2010? In fact, the team that won the title in 2010 couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

    I’m not arguing that a team shouldn’t hit. I like hitting. But the best solution might end up being to pick the LF up, say, in July (like the Hunter Pence deal). Even if they don’t, there’s no predicting the playoffs, and if the Reds have Cueto/Latos/Chapman/Leake, that’s a hell of a lot different than Volquez/Arroyo/Cueto that they had in 2010.

  105. secondguessingfanbase

    @Dave Lowenthal: “Right” as in a pitcher who can save his career in not only that ballpark, but with that coaching staff. An ERA in the low 4’s sounds about right. Edinson has fantastic stuff and one thing San Diego pitchers do is throw strikes. His upside and the possibility of ironing out his early-game woes are more tantalizing than running Arroyo out there hoping for a hot streak.

  106. secondguessingfanbase

    @Dave Lowenthal: In 2010 we seen what this team could do, in 2011 we seen what they couldn’t, and that’s play a full season with seven position players (no 3B or LF). Even with a nice rotation, the Reds still need at least 8 position players coming out of camp considering what injuries inevitably do to teams (Cozart).

    • Jason Linden

      what they c

      3B and LF were not the problems last year. The Reds weren’t great there, but when you look at performance across the season, those two positions were OK. The problems last year were short and the rotation. Walt just went a long way toward fixing the rotation. We have to hope Cozart takes care of short.

  107. Dave Lowenthal

    @secondguessingfanbase: That’s completely different than what you said in your original post, which was that they’d win the division and go down in the playoffs.

  108. Dave Lowenthal

    @secondguessingfanbase: An ERA in the low 4’s for a SD pitcher is a below average major league pitcher. I don’t see how that’s “getting him right”.

  109. Myles

    Much rather take a shot on a guy like Latos than Shields.

    BUT:
    What I do not like about this deal is they shipped Grandal in.
    (a) He’s a catching prospect. That’s valuable by virtue of the position.
    (b) They still don’t know how Meso is gonna pan out. It could be one of those Larkin/Stillwell situations. And you want to trade Stillwell.
    (c) They’re selling Grandal low. Another year in the minors and he’d be able to fetch more in a trade.
    (d) They’re actually not selling Alonso high, because if you really think Alonso is “the next Joey Votto” (I don’t), then you can get a pitcher for him all by himself or with Volquez and another prospect.

    Not sure what to think of the loss of Boxberger. Three first round picks for one guy? It just sounds steep, depletes the stock for making other deals. I could live with two.

  110. secondguessingfanbase

    @Dave Lowenthal: It’s not at all, in the second post I never mentioned their playoff fate. Based on the Reds’ core group’s accomplishments in 2010 and the addition of Latos minus the continuous decline of this offense if a solution is not found for LF, I feel it will be a divisional playoff exit for the 2012 Reds.

    For what it’s worth, the 2010 Reds needed a starter more than a hitter in October. The Phillies barely hit at all in that series, and to stop pesky teams like the Giants, you need a couple top pitchers that don’t make mistakes San Francisco feasts on.

  111. secondguessingfanbase

    @Dave Lowenthal: We’re talking about saving his career, which may mean overhauling many things that he has done for years. That may take time, and you could see him post an ERA well below 4 in the second half of the season. Gotta broaden the definition of success a little.

  112. Dave Lowenthal

    Bowden says the Reds got fleeced because Grandal will be Jason Varitek, Alonso is great, Volquez will be comeback player of the year, and Boxberger can be a great stopper OR a #3 starter.

    Good lord. What is he smoking? How could Boxberger start with his walk numbers? I’m sure Grandal’s upside is Varitek, but that’s upside. Is Volquez throwing? At the end of last year the Reds gave him starts, and it isn’t like he was great or anything. Is he pitching in some Winter league?

    Alonso is the interesting one here. A year ago he was starting to approach marginal prospect status. Then he hit well for the Reds in a small number of ABs last year.

    Bowden says Latos is an injury risk and so the Pads wanted to get rid of him. I kinda disagree as his issue was in ’10, not ’11. But by the same token, while a shoulder problem in ’12 could kill his trade value, a couple month slump by Alonso in ’12 could kill his also.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Bowden says the Reds got fleeced because Grandal will be Jason Varitek, Alonso is great, Volquez will be comeback player of the year, and Boxberger can be a great stopper OR a #3 starter.

      Good lord.What is he smoking?How could Boxberger start with his walk numbers?I’m sure Grandal’s upside is Varitek, but that’s upside.Is Volquez throwing?At the end of last year the Reds gave him starts, and it isn’t like he was great or anything.Is he pitching in some Winter league?

      Alonso is the interesting one here.A year ago he was starting to approach marginal prospect status.Then he hit well for the Reds in a small number of ABs last year.

      Bowden says Latos is an injury risk and so the Pads wanted to get rid of him.I kinda disagree as his issue was in ’10, not ’11.But by the same token, while a shoulder problem in ’12 could kill his trade value, a couple month slump by Alonso in ’12 could kill his also.

      It was obvious that Bowden didn’t even realize that Boxberger was a relief pitcher before he popped off with that sensationalist remark. Bowden does that with every major trade. He’s in the publicity seeking business, not baseball.

      If you read through his later comments, player by player, it doesn’t line up with his statement about it being the most imbalanced trade…swindle…etc. He says, in fact, that the trade makes sense if the Reds give up either Alonso or Grandal, but not both. Well, then the trade can only be *that* bad, one minor league, AA catcher bad.

      Bowden is pathetic.

  113. secondguessingfanbase

    ^I know aces don’t always face off in MLB but many times they do. Having Latos matched up against middle of the rotation guys most of the time could work out for the Reds the same way it has worked for Adam Wainwright.

  114. BJ Ruble

    @Dave Lowenthal: He was drafted out of high school and still only 20. I think in the next year or two, he will break out much like Mesoraco did (maybe not to that extent) but he is definitely going to be in the mix when he is needed (which is at least 3 years out).

    • Bill Lack

      @BJ Ruble:

      @Dave Lowenthal: He was drafted out of high school and still only 20.I think in the next year or two, he will break out much like Mesoraco did (maybe not to that extent) but he is definitely going to be in the mix when he is needed (which is at least 3 years out).

      I’ve heard very bad things about Grandal’s defense…in fact “brutal” was used, which does’t bode well for his future behind the plate.

  115. Dave Lowenthal

    @Myles: IMO, some of these points are mistaken. I mean, it’s true that Grandal’s a catcher, which is valuable, but how do you know he’d fetch more next year? Bad year == fetch less.

    And yes, they are selling Alonso high.

    Look at: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=alonso001yon

    What in there tells you that he’s another Votto? Nothing. Do you think Josh Byrnes thinks he’s another Votto? Unlikely. Byrnes worked for Epstein. Byrnes probably isn’t fooled by 100 ABs in the major leagues. He put up .943 OPS in 98 ABs. That after never coming anywhere near that at any level of the minors.

    And who cares where guys were drafted? Why does that matter? Boxberger is a reliever with control problems. Stoppers are the easiest thing in MLB to find. I’m way more worried about Grandal and Alonso.

    It’s a shame that the GM of the Pads isn’t someone stupid, but that’s the breaks. Alonso carries a lot of risk, so they’re not going to trade a staff ace for Yonder Alonso. Would you? Would anyone on this list trade Mat Latos for Alonso and Boxberger? If I were a Pads fan and my GM did that, even if Volquez were thrown in, I’d be down there with a pitchfork.

  116. secondguessingfanbase

    Alonso can hit, I wonder how he will pan out as a position player though. Still, I’ve always thought he could hit in the bigs since college and I still feel that way, even despite underwhelming power. They said Joey would be a doubles hitter too, just sayin.

  117. Dave Lowenthal

    @secondguessingfanbase: I can’t help but repeat that no matter how bad Rolen plays (and he is BAD), and how bad Heisey might end up being, the Giants 2010 offense was well worse.

  118. secondguessingfanbase

    @Dave Lowenthal: Don’t recall hearing you say Rolen was bad, not sure if it’s sarcasm or not but I agree, the Giants won with smoke and mirrors on offense. Their timely hitting from July through October was about as timely as I’ve ever seen. Some would call it lucky but I’d call them the 2010 champs because they played very sound baseball even if they did have some luck. They were more professional than the teams they played.

    One thing with the Reds is, they still don’t play with that steady confidence that you see from some other teams. Even with the names they have, I don’t have confidence that this team will do what it should do, which is win a divisional series. I can see the offense folding even with great pitching, that’s why I’d like to see Walt address LF with a 120-game slugger.

  119. Dave Lowenthal

    @secondguessingfanbase: Sarcasm? I’ve been ripping Rolen since the day they traded for him. He needs to retire, and he needed to retire a long time ago.

    It’s not that I don’t want the Reds to go out and sign a slugging .900+ OPS LF. I’d love it. The point at hand was whether the Reds can win a world series without it. They can. It’d be easier with the slugging LF, of course.

    And to Jason, Rolen might not be the biggest problem from last year, but he was a problem, and he’s going to be an even bigger problem this year, most likely. Unless Dusty gets a clue and doesn’t let him on the field when he’s clearly got a bad [fill in the blank with your favorite body part]. Or unless he drinks from the fountain of youth, uses PEDs, or something. He’s not getting younger.

  120. wildwestLV

    @pinson343: EXACTLY. There is no greater seal of approval than a Jim Bowden thumbs down.

  121. Greg Dafler

    I like this trade. I didn’t have any inside information in the “Ya think?” thread when I posted that they should be going after Latos other than the other pitchers rumored to be available. If you’ve got to kick in that many upper level prospects, you want to get someone a lot better than Jair Jurrjens in return.

    The only thing that surprised me was that I thought the Padres may have sought a few of the lower level prospects that are highly rated. But the Reds retained Billy Hamilton and Daniel Corcino. They actually retained all their middle infield prospects. According to Baseball America, the Reds dealt their #3, #4 and #10 prospect from their top 10 list.

    The Reds have a #1/#2 starter tandem now (doesn’t really matter the order, it’s now Cueto and Latos at the top) without sacrificing much expected production from the 2012-23 teams. Alonso was not going to be the everyday left fielder. The team (and even the Padres) don’t believe he is a left fielder.

    They team made a deal that improved themselves AND saved money. Two of the prospects shipped to San Diego were on the 40-man roster under major league contracts. That was the only way Grandal and Alonso would sign. Latos makes less than either one of them next year.

    And this next thought…how things change in 12 months…it took Edinson Volquez PLUS three prospects to get a pitcher in return who the organization hoped Volquez would be. Volquez was the first starter to pitch in the 2010 playoffs. He was the 2011 opening day starter. He was out of options, and was likely pitching out of the 2012 Cincinnati bullpen.

    I agree with BJ. If Boxberger, minor league reliever, was the only player holding this deal up, then you have to throw him in. He’s walked about 5 player per 9 ip between AA and AAA.

  122. Dan

    Sorry, haven’t had time to read all 144 comments, but anyway I’ll add mine:

    This is a terrible deal in my opinion. Ridiculous overpay. Latos is very good. But it’s possible we gave them 3 – hell maybe 4 – all-stars.

    Grandal is going to be the best player in this trade. He’s going to be another Victor Martinez type. I just have a feeling about him.

    (Oh, and way to trade Volquez at the low point of his trade value. I know we’re frustrated w/ him but the dude has some stuff.)

    We could’ve traded Votto (only 2 years left here!) and kept all the other guys.

    Now we’ve got 2 years to go for it and the minor leagues are pretty well gutted.

    Sigh…

  123. Greg Dafler

    I’m not sure what the asking price for Seth Smith is…I think it was rumored to be Volquez for Smith before this trade happened. I’m not sure why you’d give up too much in value for a platoon LFer who plays average defense at best, when you have that exact player already in your organization in Daniel Dorn. (Sorry, had to get one more vote in for Dorn before the New Year.)

    If you ignore the size of their paychecks, I’d consider making Arroyo the long reliever and seeing what Sam LeCure could do as the team’s closer.

    What is the rumored asking price for Andrew Bailey? He’s the closer I’ve seen mentioned most in trade rumors, but I see that he’s missed some not insignificant time with injuries the past two seasons.

  124. Dave Lowenthal

    @Dan: The moment Volquez blew out his arm his trade value hit zero, and it hasn’t come up since then. What was your plan for him? Just wondering.

    4 all stars? I think that’s a bit hyperbolic, don’t you? I will take that bet though, if you are offering it. Hell, I’ll take the 3 all star bet, and I’ll put my house up in it. (If you are talking some particular year as opposed to “ever”.) Even “ever”, I’d win that bet with about 98% probability, but I’d have to bet you a grand there, as opposed to my house.

  125. Dave Lowenthal

    Steve made a great point. Bowden said the trade was “Herschel Walker”‘esque. Yet he said a fair deal would have been Grandal, Boxberger, Volquez for Latos. So you’re telling me that Yonder Alonso makes the trade the biggest lopsided deal in the last 5 years? Really?

    It isn’t like Alonso is Bryce Harper. He raised his OPS by 30 points in a repeat season at AAA at age 24. It’s not bad or anything. He’ll be an asset to some team overall, but I just don’t see superstar. Anything’s possible, of course.

  126. Greg Dafler

    @Dan: The BA list of top ten prospects not traded by Cincinnati: Mesoraco, Hamilton, Cozart, Corcino, Stephenson, Gregorius, and Frazier. And that ignores other talent in the organization, including but not limited to folks like Sappelt, Phipps, Horst, Soto, Henry Rodriguez, Yorman Rodriguez, Barnhart, Duran, Renken, etc.

    IMO, this team is pretty much is what it is for the next several years, is what it has been the last two years. They needed to make a move to make the pitching resemble an improvement on the 2010 season.

    Phillips and Rolen are free agents after this season. Votto and Arroyo the year after that. However, a good core of the team will still be here for 3-4 years, a lot of money is going to be coming off the books, and those lower level prospects that weren’t traded are going to be in AAA, knocking on the Reds door.

  127. Steve Mancuso

    Brad Boxberger an All-star? Really? What exactly leads you to believe he’ll be one of the three or four best closers in the league? (assuming he ever becomes a closer)

    Yonder Alonso an All-star? Really? First base is a pretty tough spot to qualify for the All-star team. Ask Joey Votto a year ago. With Pujols and possibly Fielder out of the NL, Alonso has a better chance. But a doubles hitter in Petco has a long way to go to beat out the best 1B in the league.

    Edinson Volquez an All-star? Really? Have you seen him pitch since his surgery?

    Maybe Grandal will someday make an All-star team. I’m thinking the Reds believe that he’ll be playing behind Devin Mesoraco.

    Do you know how few “top ten prospects” actually become everyday major league players, let alone All-stars?

  128. wildwestLV

    Alonso is really the ONLY one of these four that one could seriously consider (right now) a-possible-one-day all-star. AND even at that, based on what? little we’ve seen this year? Catching depth isn’t an issue w/ us and, even though we’re in need of a closer now, who the hell knows how Boxberger would pan out in the majors in that role? I’d chance LeCure as closer before I’d keep Boxberger at the expense of picking up a quality starter. I actually would have thought this deal would have had to include a Heisey or Frazier to seal the deal (and maybe Walt had to talk them down from that). Go read the San Diego blogs and threads: they really believe that Volquez might be starting potential (“PETCO=pitcher’s park”, “17-6, in 2008 ❗ w/ a 3.21 ERA :roll:” ) We still need to go after another starter, but how many on here can seriously say that you’d prefer to see Arroyo start before Latos (even though Bronson will still be in there)? And I think LF will be fine w/ Heisey. 3B is worrisome, though.

  129. wildwestLV

    And as for Latos and his emo: I’ve seen him pitch in person several times, and he’s still not as bad a head case as Bailey. And, that being said, I still fully believe in Homer.

  130. OhioJim

    The Reds are clearly all in for the window of time they control Votto (and for that matter Phillips too as things stand now).

    Hopefully they will finish the job right by getting themselves a LF and closer (and having invested what they just invested to get Latos, this is no time to experiment at closer).

    If they don’t finish the job right, they’ve probably given up too much. If they do finish the job right, it will be worth all they gave and then some unless Latos comes up lame.

  131. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve Mancuso: I keep hearing Larkin/Stilwell for Meso/Grandal. I mean, if they’d have moved Meso, we’d hear the same thing. They had to move one of them! I know Jim said Grandal provides some 1B insurance, but not really, IMO.

    How long would it have taken to try to figure out which one of those two catchers was the star and which one the bum? (Assuming they’re not both good or both bad, in which case it doesn’t matter that much.) Answer: too long. Votto will be gone. They had to make the call, and the truth is, none of us knows which is the right one, but I know with certainty that Meso is closer to the majors. Case closed—trade Grandal. They need to win THIS YEAR.

  132. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve Mancuso: Do people here realize that Alonso’s stock went from Microsoft, at the trading deadline, to closer to Google, after the season, just based on 98 at bats? OK, that’s hyperbolic, but in late July, Alonso was just a guy who was a too-old prospect in AAA who didn’t hit with enough power for a 1Bman.

  133. Dave Lowenthal

    @wildwestLV: Somehow the head case with the ERA of 3 doesn’t bother me quite as much as the head case with the ERA of 5.71.

  134. hermanbates

    Now you go after Gio! Trade Bailey, sappelt and Phipps for Gio Gonzalez, and make your rotation Latos, Cueto, Gonzalez, Leake and Arroyo! Make Chapman pitch a year in the minors as a starter. Use him as if it were spring training or winter ball. Start with three innings and build up all year. We cut arroyo next year and our rotation of Latos, Cueto, Chapman, Leake and Gonzalez!

    Seriously though, what a great trade for the reds. Mat Latos is a stud. And we didnt give up anything worth keeping. and people freaking out about meso over grandal-meso started poorly and showed quick and positive progression. Sucking at baseball when your an 18 year old and having the mental capacity to keep focused and work on it to the point you become a top prospect? I’ll take that guy.

    And boxberger? Jared Burton was a top reliever for awhile. Ondrusek was great. LeCure is great. Jeremy Horst came up and shocked the world. Bullpen pitchers are everywhere. If a bullpen pitcher was the deal breaker, as being reported…then good! We won this trade.

  135. hermanbates

    And now Votto. Two years. And we trade him if we cant keep him(keeping him is option number one), but if you cant, trade him for some awesome prospects. Replenished. And then Phillips. Once Hamiltons ready, call him up and ship out old brandon for something awesome. How great is this? I’m excited.

  136. Dan

    4 all-stars was hyperbolic. I know. I was typing mad and I exaggerated. (I mean, it could happen, but I admit it’s unlikely.)

    However, I still think we gave up way too much.

    Alonso – Possibly a Sean Casey type? (Lumbering, good average, moderate power, not great fielding). 5 years of team control

    Grandal – It’s early, but I’ll stand by my comparison to Victor Martinez. Good average, switch hitter, doubles power, adequate defense. 6 years of team control.

    Volquez – Who knows, but he’s been an all-star before, and he’ll be in his 2nd full season after TJ surgery. Great stuff if he can control it. Big if, but still. 3 years of team control.

    Boxberger – It’s early w/ him too, but so far he’s averaged allowing 7.3 H/9 in the minors, and has 11.9 K/9. Possibly dominant stuff. 6 years of team control.

    Just a really high price. 4 legit major leaguers. (2 have reached the majors, 2 have made it to AAA). 3 were first rounders. I dunno.

    Latos is a very good pitcher, no doubt, but I still don’t like the deal.

    Could’ve traded Votto, gotten even MORE in return probably, and retained our Tampa-like youth and depth.

  137. eric nyc

    @Dan: We’ve been skating by as a marginal team for years focusing on “youth and depth.” We had the best offense in the NL last year and only won 79 games. When that happens, it’s pretty obvious what you have to do to contend. Alonso might have won us an extra 1-2 games this year platooning in LF (and that’s a big MIGHT since who knows what his terrible fielding would have cost us) and Grandal might not have seen the big league roster for another 2 years – if ever, depending on whether or not Mesoraco pans out. Volquez was heading out of town regardless. Boxberger is the one chip I would have liked to have kept, but if Latos turns into a legit #2 or even a #1, I won’t lose any sleep over it and neither should Walt. Everyone has to be working under the assumption that Votto is gone in two years, if not sooner. For a team in this market, that means you have to try and win right now. With the division in a turnover year, this is the perfect season to take a risk like this. It worked for the Brewers last year. Now let’s just hope we can capitalize on it better than they did.

  138. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: Can you define a #2 starter? Or a #1 starter? Numbers, please.

  139. Dave Lowenthal

    @Dan: By definition all of one’s top 10 prospects compare to some really good current major leaguer. That does nothing for me. And by definition, all minor leaguers are under 6 years of team control. I also don’t understand the idea of retaining depth where you have multiple players at the same position. What does that accomplish? Also, Tampa has guys like Matt Moore to come up and pitch. The Reds don’t, unfortunately, in their system. So they had to go out and get one. They can’t sign one, because signing a Latos would cost 20M per year.

    As for Volquez, if he sucks this year, are we going to say “well, now he’s three years removed from TJ surgery”? I’d like to remind Volquez’ fan club here that in 2008, his FIP was 3.60 and his xFIP was 3.84. Edinson Volquez is one of the most overrated pitchers I’ve ever seen in my life. Even before his surgery, he just could not throw consistent strikes, so why do we expect him to IF he can come back from TJ surgery. Those 2008 numbers aren’t bad, they are good, but it’s not like they are top shelf numbers. He had a top shelf first half, but was also lucky during that first half. Why are we so concerned about trading a pitcher under two (not three) years of team control who’s a head case and had one good half year?

  140. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: Well, then, why do you keep defining Latos as a #2-#3 starter? That seems awfully pessimistic to me, given his last two years. I remember Greg posting the average #2 and #3 starter, and I’m pretty sure Latos is far better than a #2-#3 guy given his numbers the last two years. It matters, because if he’s a 2-3, this was a bad trade.

  141. eric nyc

    @Dave Lowenthal: I think he’s a 2-3 at worst. I just don’t feel like getting into a huge numbers discussion. I think we all agree on what a #1 is in general – a guy who you feel comfortable running out to face any other #1 in the league. It’s going to be some combination of ERA, IP, K/BB, GB%, all culminating in some sort of analysis of his W-L record that will take a bunch of other factors into account. I don’t write for Fangraphs, and they’ve already done it:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/reds-finally-get-their-ace-in-mat-latos/

    So, as I’ve said, if he bottoms out as a #3, this still isn’t the WORST trade in the world because having a solid #3 big league starter under team control for a VERY modest price is an incredibly valuable thing. When you factor in that he clearly has the upside to be a #1, and an All Star #1 at that, you can’t get too hung up on the pieces we dealt away. Especially when not one of those pieces has any concrete effect on the 2012 club. We just bought ourselves 4-5 minimum wins at the cost of depth and possible starters 3 years down the line. I like it.

  142. Dave Lowenthal

    @eric nyc: Right, the Fangraphs piece essentially classifies him right now as one of the better pitchers in the league.

    I see what you are saying about a cheap #3, but I’d be disappointed if he posts an ERA of around 4 over time. That’d be very bad for giving up the farm. I need to see it around very low 3’s. Which I think is very possible. Even likely. I would not be surprised to see him dip into the 2’s.

  143. Greg Dafler

    @Dan: I believe Volquez is in his 2nd year of arbitration, projected to make about $2.5 million this year, and only under a team’s control for 2 more seasons.