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Mat Latos Trade: Reds Bolster Rotation, In Pole Position In N.L. Central

This offseason has been a tough one for the top teams in the N.L. Central, with the departure of Albert Pujols, the likely departure of Prince Fielder, and a possible 50-game suspension for Ryan Braun. The Reds aimed to take advantage of that by making a big trade Saturday, dealing Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger to the Padres for starting pitcher Mat Latos.

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The Reds gave up a lot (Alonso and Grandal are both good young players, although Joey Votto was blocking Alonso in Cincinnati) but Latos just turned 24 and could be at or near the top of the Reds' rotation for years to come - advanced statistics like him a lot, despite the fact that he played the beginning of his career in the pitchers' heaven of PETCO Park. The Reds' timing is excellent, since this deal helps position them to take the N.L. Central in a year in which the competition may not be particularly stiff. It would have been a tough road for the Pirates anyway, even given the weakness of the division, but the road just got a little tougher.

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For more on the Reds, check out Red Reporter.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.