Cincinnati has acquired starter Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres in exchange for prospects Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger along with starter Edinson Volquez, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Latos, 24, is under team control through 2015. Over the last two seasons, he owns a 3.21 ERA with 374 strikeouts, 112 walks and 32 home runs allowed -- certainly encouraging numbers for someone going from a pitcher's park in San Diego to a hitter-friendly one in Cincinnati. That high-strikeout, low-walk success Latos has had will play anywhere, not just at Petco Park.
In four career starts against the Cubs, Latos has struck out 30, walked eight and allowed one home run with an ERA of 3.47. Over those 23 13 innings, Cubs hitters have just a .659 OPS.
The biggest knock on Latos is that he hasn't shown the kind of durability teams would like to see out of an ace. He's never thrown over 200 innings in a season and has only averaged about six innings per start in the last two seasons.
Regardless, only Pittsburgh and Houston had a lower cumulative pitching staff WAR than Cincinnati in 2011. This is a major upgrade for the Reds, to say the least.
The Reds gave up a ton in this trade -- Alonso was blocked by Joey Votto, so he's not a major loss, but Grandal is a big-time catching prospect while Boxberger, a reliever, has posted some gaudy strikeout numbers in the minors.