Update: The site crashed due to traffic from the trade. Thanks guys! Got it back up and running though. Now that the entire trade is official, here is my take:

The Reds did a good job with this deal, even though I expect in 6-7 years from now, the players traded will look better than the player received. Mat Latos is a STUD pitcher who has a chance to be a legit #1 pitcher and a real difference maker, if he isn’t already. The Reds traded Yonder Alonso, who was taking a big hit on his value because he was being placed in left field. I honestly believe that Dave Sappelt, as a left fielder, can be very close to as valuable as Alonso would be because of the difference in their defense. It will be interesting to see how the Votto situation plays out for when he leaves as Alonso was the only guy I felt comfortable saying could step in for him and be at least MLB average at first from the guys we have. But still, Alonso was expendable because we do have Votto and Sappelt/Heisey for left field. Yasmani Grandal is a very good prospect, but with Devin Mesoraco under control for six years as a better prospect, he was not going to get a shot. Brad Boxberger, while he has a ton of potential as a reliever, is still just a reliever. Edinson Volquez, was, at best, our #5 pitcher on the depth chart. If the Reds didn’t have guys like Votto, Sappelt/Heisey and Mesoraco then this trade probably looks worse, but they DO have those guys and just added one of the best pitchers the NL Central is going to see next year. For now, I would say that the Reds did a good job. I hope all of the guys we traded can find success in San Diego.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Reds have acquired Mat Latos for Yonder Alonso and others. The other parts have yet to be named.

My initial response to the idea is: Mat Latos is exactly the type of pitcher that you go after. He is young, very talented, has a good track record, has very good stuff and is under control for multiple years. I am curious as to who the trade is for beyond Alonso, and I would expect at least one other premium prospect in the deal along with other parts as well. Until those parts are named though, this deal gets an approval.

Depending on how long it takes for the rest of the deal to be talked about, I may not update this immediately. I have two parties today (one birthday and one Christmas), so I am pretty swamped. So use the comments section to update things when/if they become available.

Update: Now being reported that Edinson Volquez is also going to San Diego in the trade. Also now confirmed by the Reds are Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger.


107 Responses

  1. Jim H

    Sounds like a lot for Latos, but he one of the guys I was hoping for along with Shields. Hate Alonso & Grandal together in the deal because I was hoping Grandal could headline another deal. But still excited to add a top arm. Betting Volquez has big year in that park.

    • suffering red

      I totally agree that we should have kept Grandal for another package but at least they was all expandle and we kept Corcino, Hamilton and Yorman.
      San Deigo got the better of the trade in 5 years but not next year as we WIN the Central!

  2. Patrick

    We keep our youngest best prospects, give up some blocked ones and a good BP arm.

    It’s a steep price but I wouldnt expect anything different for a guy who has been as good as Latos.

  3. Foxred

    Would have liked to do deal without Boxberger but I’m just picky. If I’m not mistaken that also frees up about $3 million. (Alonso and Volquez.).

    Will be interesting who plays LF. Willingham signed for a reasonable amount and we missed him. I have to believe another move is coming for a LF.

  4. Keith

    So who is our closer in 2012? 2013? I hate to see Boxberger go… seems like we gave a whole lot up for Latos. He better be a stud.

    • KyWilson1

      Unless they sign someone it will probably be Masset or Chapman.

      • Doug Gray

        Average relievers typcially close about 85% of games they get a chance to. That is slightly less than “closers”. The closer is the most overrated and overpaid position in all of sports.

  5. Gene

    I guess this means that the Reds will do their best to keep Votto now and that they’re all in on Mesoraco. I see Boxberger and Volquez being effective pitching half-the-time in Petco, but I still like the trade. Number 1/2 starters with stuff and command (first half of 2010 and second half of 2011) don’t grow on trees.

  6. Greg

    Seems like a lot to me. I would think that Grandal and Alonso should have gotten the deal done along with a younger less proven prospect (Greene, Cignari, Waldrop, etc.) The addition of Boxberger appears to tilt the trade in my opinion in the Padres favor. I know Latos is great, but surely you have to factor in the fact that he pitches in the most pitcher friendly park in MLB. I realize you have to give a lot to get something back, but this seems like too much to me. Time will tell I suppose, but 2 MLB ready prospects (Boxberger and Alonso) and a AAA ready catcher is a steep price to pay. I agree also that Edinson should have a pretty good year in Petco and if he does then this trade looks really bad when they trade him at the deadline for even more prospects. Don’t forget what Harang looked like for the last few years in GAPB and how quickly that all turned around in Petco…hope the opposite isn’t true with Latos coming to the launching pad errr GAPB.

  7. KyWilson1

    I think Grandel and Alonso in the same package was a bit much, but other then that i like the deal because Latos can be a monster. They really gave all their trade chips up in one deal here though which mean they are going to try and piece together the bullpen. Latos-Cueto-Arroyo-Bailey-Leake is a good looking rotation though. Does this trade mean they push stretching Chapman out another year so he can close?

    • Ryan

      Idk if you put them order but the rotation in my eyes is 1a.Cueto 1b.Latos 3A.Leak 3b.Bailey 5.Arroyo.

  8. Adam L

    I love everything about this, but I am slightly concerned it means one of either Chapman or Bailey moves to the pen. They both can do more for the team in the rotation. That Arroyo extension looks worse and worse.

  9. redsfannorth

    I really like the trade, for the reasons Doug stated above. We have a tendency(myself included) to overvalue our own prospects, and there is no way this deal gets done without Alonso AND Grandal in my opinion. Volquez is a candidate for comeback player of the year, or he could flop badly and I am ok with him going. I would have loved to keep Box, but the bottom line is I am sure Walt did the deal for the minimum. A guy like Latos being available is rare being he is so young AND good. How many years off control will we have him for?

  10. zblakey

    Nice article on Fangraphs.com
    “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. “

  11. coltholt

    I love the trade. Latos has four years of control as a guy who already is a guy I would be afraid to face in a short series. With Cueto and Latos pitching four games in a seven game set, the reds have the best TOR pitching they have had in well over a decade.

    Although it is easy to feel the hurt of losing Votto’s replacement, but our 4 years of Latos matches the 4 years we would have had from Alonso at first. Grandal is still too much of a risk to worry too much about. Look at Geo Soto and Matt Weiters who were sure things that turned out to be mediocre (although Weiters really picked it up in the second half of the season). Then you have Boxberger and Volquez. One reliever prospect and one 4 million dollar reliever with control problems.

    In short, certainly a haul, but Latos is the best long term pitcher that was mentioned having four years of control and is a TOR pitcher already

  12. ryan k

    Does anyone else think Jim Bowden is an idiot? How is this a Herschel Walker type trade? We gave up two players that were blocked by Votto and Meseraco a starter who cant throw strikes and a reliever. I think he is just trying to run his mouth because everyone here cant stand him. Right now the Reds won this trade obviously the future that could change but if Latos turns into an ace than this was more than worth it. I am more concerned about his reported attitude problems.

    • Keith

      I think lots of people think Jim Bowden is an idiot. You’re certainly not alone there.

  13. Kyle

    Here’s hoping the Neftali Soto and Tucker Barnhart have big seasons. They are certainly more important to the Reds as prospects now.

    • Doug Gray

      Not sure that is too true. Barnhart still has several years before he is even ready to be the back up to Mesoraco. Soto, at worst, has a full season before the Reds have to even decide where to go with him. I don’t see the Reds trading Votto before July 2013.

  14. jim t

    getting Latos is huge. We control him going forward. Where Volquez could walk next year. If Volquez has a big year he will price himself out of SD. Grandall and Boxberger haven’t seen the bigs yet and Alonso can only play first base especially in SD. Love this trade. Walt says he ain’t done yet. Lets get that RH bat for the middle of the order and sign a free agent closer. Looks like Coco could be back interest isn’t quite what he thought.

  15. MK

    Alot to give up but if they win then everything is OK. The development of Tucker Barnhart and Donald Lutz are more important now.

    If they win it might solve the Votto issue because winning means revenue and more money for Joey.

  16. zblakey

    Pitchers have to miss bats in GABP, and Latos does that – averages nearly 1K/inning pitched

  17. chiredsfan

    Leake, Bailey or Chapman I would think have to go not sure how you keep all three as none of them seem like a closer

  18. Pete

    Doug-I feel a little better after reading your thoughts on the trade. Seems like a very high price to pay but maybe this guy is worth it.
    I thought Alonso and Grandal was enough but what do I know.

    Hope this guy is a stud.

    Question-with pitching at such a premium could we trade any of our 3-4-5’S for a LF? If people are overpaing could you get anything major for Wood or Bailey? Would you want to?

    I guess the HAmilton/Volquez deal is officially a bust. I was always worried that one more positive test and he would miss 100 games. He also seems like a tough guy to motivate.

    Any other moves for a pitcher that you see?

  19. doctor

    I was just looking at latos and SD lineup last week, thinking no way SD would trade a young cost controlled guy like that and he was the youngest guy in the SD rotation. With that big ballpark, Yonder may lead the league in doubles hit. i think its a real good trade for both sides. Reds cleared up some blocked roster spots, get the potential young ace. SD gets two players with offense upside they desperately need as well pitching potential.

  20. IndyRedsFan

    I will be the contrarian today. I don’t like the trade at all. Way too much to give up for one player…no matter how good he is.
    It may look good next year, but we’ll regret it in the near future. Here’s predicting that we’ll be regretting it 2 years from today.
    Another prediction…Volquez wins 12+ next year for SD.

    • Randy in Chatt

      I am with you Indy. That is a lot to give up for one guy. One injury and we will lose a lot. I was hoping for another prospect from SD on this one to balance it out some. If Latos (who I’ve seen pitch before and IS a stud) becomes the TOR starter we need then that will help smooth it all out. I am concerned about his attitude issues. He can light up like a match with his anger–but on the flipside, it makes him very competitive.

      At least Alonso can put LF to bed for good and we know Boxberger won’t be our closer and no more hoping, wishing for Edinson to turn it completely on. No Edinson for Seth Smith rumors either.

    • redsfannorth

      Hard to argue with this because we have no idea how it will play out. I like the trade, mostly due to the fact that we have depth at all of the positions we traded from. Evaluating this trade will be much more complicated than comparing the stats of the 5 players involved, it will also involve the player movement and stats of the players that we kept that were ahead in the depth chart – Mes, Votto and his contract, the 3-5 slots in the rotation, closer. My biggest complaint with Walt so far is that he didn’t pull the trigger on deals that we thought were possible. I have a hard time being negative now that he finally made a move. If we never make a move, we never get over the hump.

    • wanderinredsfan

      I’m in your corner. I don’t mind Volquez leaving, but giving up 3 1st round picks is a huge gamble, that I’d rather not take for a pitcher, even if he is a stud. This is one shoulder injury away from being one horrible trade. I’d much rather have a position player for the price.

      I think what disappoints me the most is the inclusion of Grandal to this trade. I think Walt is way under-selling the scarcity of a well-rounded, switch-hitting catcher.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree with you 100% wander. We got a great pitcher but we also gave up a ton of talent in return. If Latos produces for the Reds, everything will be ok. If he doesn’t or experiences a arm injury, it will be a disaster. The trade was a huge high risk/big return type of trade. Time will tell. A huge improvement in our farm system over the last several years will hopefully allow us to weather this trade either way it turns out. The Reds probably need to try to resign Cordero or someone else to close.

    • Kris

      I couldn’t agree more. This was WAY too much to give up. The fact he’s none to have emotional/attitude problems makes it even worse. This trade makes me physically ill. Sure, it may help the rotation, but our lineup looks worse and worse. We still have no LF that is even close to an answer. We are counting on a broken down 3B and now we really have no one to replace Votto when he leaves. Horrible decision making, in my opinion. I REALLY hope I’m proven to be wrong.

      • Ryan

        Still have francisco and frazier to back up third and frazier, hiesey, and sappelt in left. Not teribble in my eyes.

  21. doctor

    the other point is the sneaky stealth mode. did anyone hears rumors of this? certainly seemed off the radar in the rumor mill to my reading.

    Go 2012 Reds!!!!

    • Foxred

      You could tell it was coming after reading Rosenthal’s article. Don’t think KR is that good. Jocketty leaked that story himself to prep everyone for accepting the move coming. Timing for KR’s article was a little TOO perfect.

  22. Scott from upstate NY

    Here is a Padres’ blog reaction. The last paragraph mentions an arm issue during last year’s Spring Training- something to watch. He obviously improved during the season. My impulsive reaction was “My god what do the Rays want for Shields?” My next impulsive thought was drafting the best player available may not have the best return on investment. I like Chiredsfan’s comment “opens 3 spots” :) My last impulsive thought is “Is 1B now the Reds draft primary need?”

    • wanderinredsfan

      I wonder what the Rays were waiting for? I guess they believe one more season of competition will increase attendance….but, it won’t. The Rays need to deal every player once they reach year 2 in arbitration, at least until they can get a fan-base.

      If I was MLB, I’d be looking very hard at forcing a re-location of the franchise to a more hospitable area, outside of Florida.

  23. Randy in Chatt


    It sounds like the Reds are not done. WJ alluded to free agents wanting to come here, loving the idea of hitting at GABP. Who’s out there that may be a free agent hitter that WJ may be refering to?

  24. RobL

    WOW! Walt pulled the trigger. Yes, we gave up a lot. I love Yonder, but even if he were here, I find it hard to believe Dusty would play him more than 50% of the time. Too many lefties for Dusty’s liking. I love Yasmani too, but the Reds are putting their eggs in the Mes basket, as they should. Edinson needs a change of scenery and SD should be good for him. I was a little letdown seeing Box closing out the deal. I know smart people keep saying relievers are a dime a dozen, but I don’t see a lot of high end relievers in the Reds system. But I guess Walt said “Do I really let a reliever keep me from my ace pitcher for the next four years?” I’m glad he pulled the trigger. Latos is a true talent, who needs to stay healthy. If he stays healthy, the Reds will not regret this trade. The Reds are all in for this year, and I believe next year as well. They’ll hold on to Votto and try to extend him, or just take the picks. Color me impressed.

  25. RobL

    Quick tangent. Even if Votto walks as a free agent, maybe we should not look at it as getting nothing for it. Besides the draft picks, the Reds get 20 million freed up to spend as they see fit on free agents, or extensions for key players. This Latos trade has me looking at the glass as half-full.

  26. Sultan of Swaff

    Without a closer and w/ 6 starters for 5 spots, This creates a huge question mark around Chapman. Now that we’re in WIN NOW mode, will the Reds say screw it and make him closer? What about Homer??

    • Doug Gray

      Homer was arguably the Reds 2nd best starter last season when he was healthy and on the mound. I can’t imagine him being anything but a starter next year. He has a sub 1.30 WHIP. He missed bats. He didn’t allow a bunch of walks. That is a recipe for success. The Reds know that.

      • Sultan of Swaff

        For the scratch Bronson is making, there’s no way he gets yanked from the rotation, and I agree, Homer should be a starter. I just don’t see how Chapman doesn’t get put back in the ‘pen. I dunno, I’m not convinced he’ll ever develop the command needed to be a starter. This is a tough call.

      • Beard

        How much longer are the Reds saddled with the Arroyo contract? Unless he bounces back in a big way this year, he could easily be the 7th best starter behind Chapman and Wood. Certainly in terms of pure stuff he is way behind the rest of the Reds rotation candidates.

      • SpokaneB

        I’m not down on Arroyo if you ever had Mono you would be high on him competing all year with it. It can take 6-9 months to get over it, but until then your energy level sucks.

  27. shaggy

    What about moving arroyo to the bullpen, that’s where he was in Boston when we got him. Couldn’t he be an option at the closer position also.

  28. Beard

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

    Firstly, and lastly, the Reds add a true top of the rotation guy that has proven it. Bailey could be that guy but at some point you have to quit waiting for that. Chapman could be that guy but potential is one thing and the realization of potential is another and until that is proven it is hard to rely on either being the staff ace. Being able to slot Bailey and Chapman (if he makes it into the rotation) lower in the rotation has to be scary for other NL Central opponents.

    Let’s work a little bit backwards on what the Reds gave up. Volquez is basically a non-issue in this one. Sure his numbers will improve in Petco, but the guy is getting up there in years and has been given a full opportunity to make it in Cincy and it didn’t happen. Between the off the field issues and the unreliability that goes with that and the seeming lack of mental toughness to get it done when it counts on the field, I say, “Thanks for coming to Cincy and trying, but don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

    Next up is Boxberger. Could easily be a solid closer for San Diego for years to come. I doubt he will be an “elite” shut down closer in the mold of Riveria or Hoffman. And if a guy is not top 3 to 5 in MLB then he is replaceable. The Reds have yet to identify their closer in 2012 and that will be something important to keep an eye on in the spring and early part of the year. I think that Chapman will be the first guy to get a shot. Coco might be brought back still. And as Doug would say its likely that Bray or Masset or Arredondo will still convert 80%+ of save opportunities.

    The inclusion of Grandal would be a painful loss if not for Mesoraco. I would have liked to have had one more year of Grandal just to 100% confirm that Mes will be able to be the Reds starter for the next decade. Still if all the experts are right Mes will be that guy and so this portion of the deal will hopefully go down as no biggie. If Mes is and annual All-Star and Grandal becomes that too it is still no biggie.

    To summarize so far I think that Volquez is meaningless as far as the Reds are concerned and he wasn’t going to contribute much in 2012 and was going to be gone afterward due as much to mental issues as physical ones. Grandal is not that big of a deal because of Mesoroco. Boxberger could be the guy the Reds can most easily see being an issue of these three if things go sour in the 8th or 9th with much frequency in the next few seasons. So now on to Alonso…..

    This is the one that concerns me most. Offensively, his departure will be felt in this season. He was the probable LF (and while the defense could be an adventure the bat was never in question). As Doug pointed out Sappelt can replace him fairly well and so could Heisey possibly due to the defensive upgrades. BUT what really concerns me most is that the Votto insurance is gone. I can see the Reds are going for it in 2012 and 2013 and I totally get it. But if Votto walks in FA with the Reds getting noting back in return this could really hurt in 2014 and beyond. Hopefully Soto can really step up his game this year and prove to be the one the Reds are willing to turn to if Votto departs.

    So where does this leave the 2012 Reds?

    Starting rotation: Latos, Cueto, Bailey, Leake, (Arroyo, Wood, Chapman)
    Bullpen: (righties) Masset, LeCure, Arrendondo, Ondrusek; (lefties) Bray, and (Chapman and Wood probably)

    Certainly lots of rotation depth and good bullpen arms all with experience

    Position players:
    C — Mesoraco, Hanigan
    1B — Votto
    2B — Phillips
    SS — Cozart
    3B — Rolen, Francisco
    LF — Sappelt, Heisey
    CF — Stubbs, Heisey
    RF — Bruce
    utility — Frazier

    Again enough depth, but with a few question marks. Those are:

    * Rolen’s health

    * unproven youth from Mes at C, Sappelt at LF, and Cozart at SS

    All that being said the Reds certainly have to be the leading contenders in the NL Central.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree the Reds can weather this trade even if it backfires. Everyone except Boxberger is blocked on the Reds. They collectively have a lot of trade value and this is where the Reds will really lose out if Latos
      experiences a arm injury. I still have my doubts on how much power Alonso will have. I prefer Mesoraco over Grandal. I am in the minority on here, but I feel we needed to keep Francisco and maybe Frazier. We have done that. Soto has a future somewhere. The biggest void is a closer and I think the Reds resign Cordero for next season.
      We should be able to pick up a closer on the FA market after that. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that the trade might induce Votto to sign long term. Like all trades, time will tell.

  29. Beard

    Does Latos start opening day? Or does that honor still go to Cueto as a reward for a great 2011?

  30. Tim

    Now we just trade Stubbs and a couple more prospects for Jurrjens! Sounds like a nice offseason to me!

  31. chiredsfan

    Seems to me dealing Arroyo cleans up the rotation leaving a slot for Chapman and/or Wood. Obviously Reds would have to eat salary but every penny another team pays of his salary is found money. So Arroyo to someone in return for them eating $8-10MM over the next two years?

    • Foxred

      Won’t happen. Arroyo’s contract gets too tricky if he’s traded. Arroyo’s contract was bad news from day 1. It’s not the total money, its the riders in the contract that basically gives him a full no trade clause.

  32. Tim

    So when do we talk new contract with Latos to lock him up for a long time and keep him from the Yankees???

    • Beard

      Two years from now when the Votto situation is cleared up and the Reds have a better idea of payroll for 2014+ and when Latos has conclusively proven he can pitch at GABP.

  33. Beard

    What do we think the maximum the Reds could afford to offer Votto in a long term contract is and what percentage chance is there that Votto would accept such a deal?

  34. BMW 1

    Start sappelt and lead him off in LF and get Andrew bailey. And get rid of arroyo

    • Beard

      What pieces do the Reds realistically have left to get Bailey or for that matter much of anyone else that will be a major contributor? I think Walt went all out for this one and I’m fine with that as it has a super high ceiling for what can happen.

      Seriously does anyone have a better younger rotation with the talent of this one on opening day:

      Latos 24
      Cueto 26
      Bailey 26
      Leake 24
      Chapman 24

      (Seriously none of those guys were alive in 1985 WOW!)

  35. Alan Horn

    Another thing this trade probably means is that Sappelt opens the season with the Reds and LF and CF will be manned by Sappelt, Heisey and Stubbs.
    The Reds may need to sign a left handed hitting outfielder for the bench.

  36. Jim delaney

    Gave up a lot but overall like deal. Next move is to get Carlos Quentin and matt Thornton from white sox, use homer as major piece. Have to clear 5th starting spot for aroldis. Then beg castelini for money for one year deal for Ryan madsen. Then reds are ready to roll in 2012.

    • maui red

      I count the reds payroll at around 67million, without including bonus’ and deferrals, but i did estimate the arbitration guys. That’s leaves them at around 13million if they stay at last years 80. With two spots open, after they add Brackman, the two biggest needs are Closer and Left Fielder. If they could bring Cordero back at like 6mill, maybe they could do something crazy and stretch the budget a little for Carlos Beltran. They just have to add like 3or4 million. Who’s knows they big man might feel like going for it this years, with the Cards and Brewers weakened.

      • Randy in Chatt

        I was wondering if Beltran was one of the guys who told the FO that he’d like to hit at the GABP??? We can dream can’t we? A SH in between Votto and Bruce, especially w/ St. Loius bidding on Beltran. Maybe Cairo and his Venezuelan connection would get Beltran here.

      • MDRon

        I wonder how much of Jason Bay’s contract the cash-starved Mets might be willing to eat? I could see his numbers rebounding nicely moving from CitiFeld to GABP.

  37. The Duke

    This wasn’t that much to give up for a potential ace, who is still cheap and under control through 2015. Alonso was blocked by Votto. Offense and defense Sappelt/Heisey can probably have a similar WAR in LF as Alonso would have. Grandal is blocked by Mesoraco, Meso is a higher rated prospect, had defensive issues in 2011 and still has limited experience above A ball. i think Grandal will be fine defenisvely long term, but this is no major loss. Boxberger looks like a good reliever, but he is a reliever. Volquez is a moron, happy he is gone. THANK YOU WALT!

  38. Fish

    I really like the deal. Latos is a TOR guy. Those kind of pitchers arent available often. He’s not a rental, they’ll have him for 4 more years. This year sappelt/heisey shouuld do fine in left, boxberger would/should have been a september call up.

    I hope Chapman starts the year in AAA so he can get a legit chance as a SP. Arroyo can have the 5th spot in the rotation till they flip him for something/chapman is ready. Chapman will have a lot more value if he can start but they’ll never know if he can till they try.

    Votto is probably gone in 2 yrs, but he plays 1b, its not like there arent a ton a cheap league average first base types out there. Thats also assuming Soto or another prospect isnt ready then.

  39. IndyRedsFan

    Doug, others,

    How does Latos compare to Shields in your mind ?? My main criticism for this trade is based on my assumption that the Reds could have had Shields straight up for Votto. (I could be wrong in this assumption)
    But if that was a doable trade, I believe they would have been in much better shape with Shields in the rotation, Alonso at first and the remaining three players dealt (plus the savings from Votto’s salary) still available to fill other needs.
    It just feels to me that Big Bob’s desire to keep Votto forced Walt to make a sub-optimal move.

    • Beard

      Indy the fact that Latos is much, much younger and cheaper really makes the difference between the two.

      Latos has a higher ceiling at this point too. As a 24 year old he certainly has room to improve. Shields is at his peak and could soon been on down side of that.

      Bob may not let the Reds move Votto at any point and may give out bad contracts like Arroyo’s or Phillips’ future contract and that has hamstrung Walt Jocketty.

      I wonder what Big Bob is hoping will happen with Votto? Does he think that he will be able to pay him enough to stay?

    • Doug Gray

      Latos has more upside. He has better stuff. He is cheaper. Shields is “safer” because he doesn’t have the injury history and has thrown more innings. I would rather have Latos, because he has a better chance to be an ACE pitcher. But I can completely understand those who would rather have Shields.

      With that said, there is absolutely no way that Castellini would sign off on trading Joey Votto right now. Even if Walt told him it would make the team better.

    • Fish

      Shields has one swing and miss pitch: a really good changeup. Latos has 2 already, plus fastball and devestating slider. Combine that with the fact you get 4 yrs of Latos (I don’t know how many remaining for shields), I like latos over shields for the reds. Completely ignoring 2yrs of votto will certainly be better than 2yrs of yonder.

  40. MK

    Don’t Texeria and Brackman need to be placed on the 40-Man Roster?

  41. Terry M

    Fay in the Enquirer wrote about Jason Kubel and Cody Ross as potential free agent pickups as outfield help for next year..

  42. MK

    I have always thought Bailey might be a better reliever. When he gets in trouble it is usually the 2nd or 3rd time through the order. He definitely has closers stuff. Maybe it is time to look at that.

      • MK

        I’m not sure about his head either but he could concentrate on the fastball slider in relief and I think he has the stuff.

  43. Dan

    I worry that Grandal is being very undervalued. Could he be another Victor Martinez type?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think so. Grandal, by most accounts, is merely a solid hitter/defender, which makes him a good catching prospect because most guys aren’t that on both sides of the ball. Victor Martinez can absolutely mash. I don’t think Grandal has that kind of bat.

      • Geoff

        The way I look at it, go big or go home. Walt sees we have a 2 year window with Votto, a wide open division, and a TOR starter who is cheap and ours for 4 seasons. I really wish we could’ve held on to Grandal but am glad we finally took a chance because let’s face it, they are all prospects we moved at blocked positions. I will take a sure fire, proven power arm in this scenario all day, even with the risk that we lose our ass with an injury…Latos has the fire of Chris Carpenter which imo is much needed on this Reds team.

      • Doug Gray

        The thing is, before the trade, the Reds didn’t have a two year window. It was much longer than that. It still is.

  44. Mel

    To get good starting pitching , You have to give up a lot and the reds did, I think on paper its a good trade , and as all of you said including Doug lets see 5 or 6 years out. Doug , you and I have agreed that we disagree, but the success of say the NY Yankees the past 10 years would nver have happened , if not a guy named Mariano Riviera was not closing out games. His value is off the charts. I dont care how much he throws, I know one thing the complexion of the game changes every game in the 8th and 9th inning ,if the Yankees are up

    • Doug Gray

      Rivera is arguably (or maybe not even arguably) the best closer ever. Over the last 10 years he has saved 91% of the games he entered with the chance to save it. He has averaged just 43 save opps per season. At an 85% clip, which is roughly average, you are looking at 1-2 blown saves compared to Rivera. And you don’t even lose all blown saves. A bullpen as a whole, is incredibly valuable. A single reliever, even a very good one, isn’t something you need if you have a bunch of good ones together.

  45. Rob

    Are there any concerns with Latos’s mechanics? His elbow looks a little high and away from his body in some of the still photographs I saw with his delivery. I hope nothing but the best for the Reds and Latos’s career but and any input would be appreciated. I am also in favor of the trade as I believe that the time was right to take a calculated risk like this.

      • Rob

        Doug, could you do a breakdown of Latos in terms of his history, mechanics and projection like you do with prospects or breakdown some video of him? I realize that he is not a prospect but considering that the Reds gave up a boatload for him, I would like to see a breakdown of what the Reds got. I am hoping that we didn’t trade the farm for Adam Eaton. If not, I understand that this is a minor league site and not one that evaluates major leauge talent or trades. Thanks.

      • Doug Gray

        I can’t breakdown any video of him. I don’t own the rights to any of the video, but tomorrow (Monday) there will be a post breaking down the trade a lot more than what I posted in about 20 minutes on Saturday after the trade went down.

  46. maui red

    Neftali Soto has to be the next top prospect to reach the reds. I’m wondering if anyones knows if this guy has the ability to move off 1st. LF or maybe 3rd. Or will he be Yonder Alonso part II next offseason? Blocked at 1st.

    • Doug Gray

      Soto was moved from third base to first base already. So no, he probably isn’t moving to another position.

    • Beard

      The thing with Soto is his timing is better than Alonso’s. By that I mean Soto will probably be considered pretty solidly ready in two years when Votto might be leaving. With Alonso he was blocked for the next two years. Soto very well may not be blocked at all by Votto if Votto walks in FA. The Reds can afford to be more patient with Soto than they were with Alonso. If Votto re-signs with the Reds, I suspect most of us won’t care the Soto is blocked and will not mind seeing him traded.

      • maui red

        I agree if Votto stays, then the reds won’t need Soto at first. But Soto is starting to impress me as he gets closer to the bigs. He’s got legit power from the right side. I don’t know his splits. Not sure if he hits rightys and leftys. The guy did break Juan Gonzalez high school home run record. And 30 homers in 100 AA games as a 22year old is pretty solid. Maybe this guy has the potential to be that elusive right handed cleanup hitter the reds have had so much trouble finding. Is he really only 180 pounds. Or is that an outdated stat from his high school days? If he’s still that size(6’2″,180), he should be able to run a little and play in left.

      • Doug Gray

        That weight is very incorrect. Soto isn’t fat at all, but he is larger than 180 without a doubt.

  47. Beard

    Doug now that Alonso has been traded, what do you think is the best way to handle the Votto situation? Should the Reds present him with a Godfather like offer and see if he turns it down (that way they know for sure he isn’t coming back and then they can try and trade him)? Also if this situation were to occur do you think Bob Castillini would consider trading Votto at some point in 2013?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think the Reds can afford Votto without some major changes to payroll. I don’t think Votto is going anywhere though, until his deal is up. The Reds are a good team, so I don’t think they trade him at any deadline because they will need him for their run.

  48. Chris Schuster

    At first glance, it looked like the Reds gave up a lot for one player who plays every 5th day. Grandal and Alonso are good prospects but don’t fit here. They served their purpose. I’m surprised the Reds had to include Brad Boxberger in this deal. I am like you, Doug…. we got a young stud starter and that is exactly what we needed. When you look at the financial aspects of this deal, the Reds cleaned up. I also think it sets up more deals. I think the Reds are positioning themselves for success. Also, Jim Bowden was literally laughing on ESPN as he expressed hoe the Reds made an epic bad deal. So, with his disapproval of the deal, I feel much better about it. We shall see. Excited for the upcoming season.