Marlins Win Arbitration Hearing Against Mat Latos

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Unless James Shields signs with the Miami Marlins this week, there’s a strong argument that the best player they acquired this offseason would be Miami native Mat Latos. Although the team gave up one of it’s top prospects to acquire the right hander, the Marlins are not going to extend Latos before the 2015 season.

As was expected, the Marlins won their arbitration against Mat Latos, it was announced on Thursday morning. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick was first to report the news.

Mat Latos and the Miami Marlins were the first player/team to have an arbitration case in 2015.

The $9.4 million price Latos will receive was the Marlins counter to his $10.4 million request. Even the $9.4 million is a million more than MLB Trade Rumors Matt Swartz projection of $8.4MM earlier in the offseason.

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Latos earns a sizeable raise from his 2014 salary of $7.25 million, which was the second year of an extension he had signed with his former team, the Cincinnati Reds. While he didn’t earn what he had hoped for, Latos still has to be happy to be earning almost $1o million the season before he hits the open market.

Part of the reason the Marlins won the arbitration case over Latos has to be his injury plagued 2014 season. The 27-year old hurler only made 16 starts last season and pitched just 102 2/3 innings in 2014. That after producing 200 innings in back-to-back seasons for this one.

Latos also saw his fastball velocity decline by 2 miles per hour, resulting in his strikeout rate dipping to a career worst 6.5 K/9. He also posted his lowest BB/9 of his career, at 2.3 per nine innings last.

A big reason for why the Marlins are optimistic about their chances in 2015 has to do with their hope that Latos can revert to his 2013 form. Author Daniel Zylberkan had a great post last week about how Latos could potentially bounce back in 2015 and help the Marlins reach the playoffs.

Next: Caribbean Series underway

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