Miami Marlins Trade Reviews: Mat Latos
By Mark Laming
With the 2015 season now behind us and the offseason into full swing, it’s time to revisit some of the many deals that shaped the Marlins current roster and quite frankly, their current situation.
During the offseason leading up to 2015, the Marlins had one thing in mind, be aggressive. The Marlins ferociously pursued quality veterans to add to their roster after locking up superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The one big hole, starting pitching. Coming off a season of struggles Cincinnati threw Mat Latos onto the trade market and the Marlins were a buyer right away. The Marlins brought Latos back to his home state of Florida in this trade:
Marlins acquire: Mat Latos
Reds acquire: Chad Wallach, Anthony DeSclafani
On the surface the deal seems fair for both sides. The Marlins get a veteran starter who could mend his career and help the team make a playoff push while the Reds get two prospects towards their rebuilding effort. DeSclafani drew mixed reviews in his short time in the major leagues, while Chad Wallach showed legitimate promise after an All-Star year in the South Atlantic League for Single-A Greensboro. With the newly signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate for the foreseeable future, and prospect J.T. Realmuto coming up through the ranks, Wallach became immediately expendable.
DeSclafani’s case was more complicated than Wallach. With top prospect Andrew Heaney making his debut in the big leagues and showing legitimate promise (we will get to him later), DeSclafani figured to be the odd man out of the Marlins future rotation with Heaney anchoring the rotation.
Unfortunately for the Marlins, DeSclafani and Latos departed in opposite directions. DeSclafani strung together many quality starts in 2015, while Latos labored through half of a season in Miami and the trade turned out to be a lopsided deal that upended the Marlins 2015 efforts.
Latos was dealt to the Dodgers at the trade deadline in a complex multiple team deal that netted the Marlins a few minor prospects but very little return. DeSclafani and Wallach have thrived in Cincinnati and look to be huge pieces in their rebuilding effort. Confidence in Wallach lead to the Reds willingness to let backup catcher Bryan Pena walk in free agency.
Ultimately, this was one of the many moves that sunk the Marlins season and destroyed their farm system. But this was for sure a huge blunder for Loria & Co that they will look back on in anguish.