Trade talks heat up as deadline nears
Well before Mat Latos stepped up with one of his finest outings of the season on Tuesday night, the Marlins had been fielding inquires about the veteran right-hander.
Latos’ seven strikeouts over seven shutout innings in a 3-0 win at Arizona certainly helped advance Miami’s efforts to deal the 27-year-old.
There is so much uncertainty regarding how many trades the Marlins will make before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Latos, Dan Haren, Brad Hand and perhaps Steve Cishek and Michael Morse could be on the move. About the closest thing to a guarantee is Latos will be dealt.
A pending free agent, Latos doesn’t fit into the club’s plans. The Marlins have had phone inquires regarding the right-hander since June.
One reason a deal hasn’t already been made is because the Marlins are trying to maximize their return. And quite frankly, Latos didn’t show much the first two months.
Throughout MLB, the market has pretty much been in a standstill. There are a number of starters available, and the league is waiting to see which team strikes first.
Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto, another free agent after the season, is in a similar situation to Latos. it appears that once Cueto is moved, it will give the Marlins a better indication of what they can expect back for Latos.
Overall, it’s been a rough season for Latos, who is 4-6 with a 4.48 ERA. He’s spent time on the disabled list with a left knee issue, and he skipped a start before the All-Star Break due to bruised left toes.
Still, Latos has been effective over his last seven starts, positing a 3-2 (3.60) record with 45 strikeouts in 45 innings. He offers value to a contender.
Although Latos hasn’t helped the Marlins become a playoff contender in 2015, his impact to the organization can be long-lasting, but only if the team maximizes the return in an expected trade.
— Joe Frisaro