Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Mat Latos and Alex Wood
The Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, and Los Angeles Dodgers completed a very complex three team trade that began yesterday morning and wasn’t completed until the wee hours of the night. The deal is easily the most complex of the trade season, so instead of simply describing the particulars here, we will need to do a rundown of who is going where and from whom.
SP Mat Latos (from Miami)
SP Alex Wood (from Atlanta)
1B/OF Michael Morse (from Miami)
RP Jim Johnson (from Atlanta)
IF Jose Peraza (from Atlanta)
RP Luis Avilan (from Atlanta)
P Kevin Guzman (from Los Angeles)
P Jeff Brigham (from Los Angeles)
P Victor Araujo (from Los Angeles)
IF Hector Olivera (from Los Angeles)
SP Paco Rodriguez (from Los Angeles)
SP Zachary Bird (from Los Angeles)
Competitive Balance Pick Round A (from Miami)
Why do the Dodgers do this trade?
Are you kidding me? The only downside for the Dodgers is that they had to take Michael Morse and his salary for this year and next. He has no position in Los Angeles and may not survive the week there. Eight million dollars (for 2016) is a drop in the bucket for them. For their trouble, they add two solid starting pitchers in Mat Latos and Alex Wood and two solid relievers in Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson. Surrendered Olivera in the deal also will hurt after their initial investment in his signing bonus.
The upshot is that the Dodgers now have the deepest rotation in the National League as they could conceivably throw six or seven good starters at you. Mat Latos’s numbers indicate he should bounce back. Most prognosticators have him finishing the season with a sub 3.50 ERA and Wood already has a sub 3.50 ERA on the season. Add those guys to Kershaw, Greinke, and Anderson and you have your playoff rotation ready. Meanwhile, Johnson and Avilan may not figure in the 9th inning, but both will make their bullpen considerably deeper.
Why do the Braves make this trade?
The Braves have been in tear down mode for the past year and this trade helps along those lines. They traded three pitchers and got back a competitive balance pick, a Cuban bonus baby, and two minor league arms. Losing Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan will hurt in the short term, but neither were long-term pieces. The Braves have now dealt three bullpen arms and gotten several prospects from the exchange. Losing Alex Wood will smart for awhile, but Olivera might have superstar potential and the Dodgers paid off a majority of what he is owed.
Why do the Marlins make this trade?
They’re cheap. It’s really as pure and simple as that. They traded a good starting pitcher and a competitive balance pick and got three prospects back. None of the prospects are top notch prospects, so at the end of the day they managed to shed themselves of Michael Morse’s salary in exchange for Mat Latos and a competitive balance pick. If you sum it all up, they ended up saving approximately 16 million dollars. I suppose one could argue that they could reinvest that into the team during the offseason on some useful parts, but if Jeffrey Loria is making the decision he’ll put it in his pocket and brag to the Miami residents about how he’s fielding a competitive team.
What does this trade mean for you?
Alex Wood is owned in most leagues, so his status probably doesn’t change that much, but Mat Latos could be worth a look if he is available. His FIP is more than a run lower than his current ERA and you also have to expect a bump that comes from the adrenaline of pitching for a contender. Jim Johnson is obviously no longer the closer in Atlanta and their depth chart has taken a hit. I’m not sure who they are going to tab over there as their closer, so you might just want to watch to see if it is worth bothering. Michael Foltyniewicz made a positive spot start yesterday in place of Wood, so he might be worth a look see down the stretch as well.