At the end of the MLB winter meetings, Travis Sawchik reported that the Pirates were interested in Mat Latos. You can find in depth analysis and stats for Latos in the link above. Today we here from Jerry Crasnick that there could still be interest in adding Latos, who is likely looking for a one-year deal to re-establish some value.

The Pirates have added Ryan Vogelsong to the rotation and Kyle Lobstein as a possible depth option in case of injuries, but neither pitcher should keep the Pirates from adding a better option at the back of the rotation. The team also needs more than six options for the starting rotation going into the season, especially when the back-end of the rotation has question marks. Last year, the Pirates had ten possible rotation options going into Spring Training and you should expect them to add at least 1-2 more this year, even if it doesn’t end up being Latos.

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87 COMMENTS

  1. I predict that if the Bucs sign Latos and Dallas gets a lot of TV time while working the annual Pirates Charities telethon, fans will be begging to get to Pedro and Keli back.

  2. The main difference between Latos and art and spark, I meant Locke and Morton is Latos is a bulldog compared to two casper milk-toasts.

  3. Tim,

    Sorry for posting here and going off topic, I just got my 2016 guide (thanks for getting them out so quickly) and saw that Supac was 27th and Broxton was 40th. Where would you slot Rogers?

    • With 169 PA’s last season, Rogers would no longer be considered a prospect.

      Were he, he’d be the oldest in the system outside of Holdzkom…that, alone, should keep him from sniffing the top-30.

  4. He is my hope. As much as I like melancon. They could prob construct bullpen effectively and allocate his salary better.
    1. Trade Melancon for prospects and/or 2b/util bat.
    2. Sign latos and maeda. Move locke or vogelsong to loogey role.
    Having maeda gives you long term number 3 at worst with ace potential and latos provides upside stop gap for young guys.
    3. Sign morneau on one year
    4. Roll with a watson nicasio Hughes holdzkom bullpen and wait til a cheaper lefty reliever is available ie bastardos price drops.
    Money wise let’s call pedro for morneau a wash salary wise.
    Walkers 10 plus mortons 8 plus melancon 10 basically equals latos at 12/yr and maeda at projected 16.
    Aj was at 8 mil that is gone. Use that so called extra money to pay a bench bat better then serpico and a lefty reliever.
    Logically it works I understand they didn’t pay walker and melancon 10 each last year but was close enough and they supposedly have payroll flexibilty.

  5. I like the fact that we have some extra cash and only 2 holes to fill. I sense this will end up a good offseason. Cross our fingers and hope

    • What do you consider the 2 holes?
      I think they are missing a #3 SP, LH-RP, 4th OF, Middle INF, and LH-1B.
      (If they pick up a legit Middle INF, Harrison could be the 4th OF.)

  6. The Yankees just Ivan Nova available. He may be a good buy low candidate and the Bucs have great success with former Yankees.

  7. Locke always seemed best suited for LOOGY role. He would never have to face lineup for third time through where he struggle the most

  8. Latos problem,when healthy, is not his arm, it’s the space between his ears. He can throw a one hitter through 5 and get a questionable call, walk two and then groove one that sails over the fence. Tends to lose his cool under adversity. Also, as I remember, he is not a high % ground ball pitcher.

    • Well they dumped morton who was top 5 in ground balls. Let’s just focus on talent at this point. I get the ground ball thing with shifts etc, but let’s get some damn talent!

  9. Latos is a decent arm as long as he’s priced right. I’m still more interested in LH bats at this point… however

    I wanted to look into a comp and the more I look at it the more I’m wondering if we are undervaluing one of our own:

    K/9 B/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB GB% HR/FB ERA FIP XFIP
    Pitcher A 6.97 2.19 1.24 .290 76.7% 38.5% 11.2% 3.72 4.14 4.06
    Pitcher B 6.65 3.57 0.89 .293 71.5% 50.8% 11.8% 4.16 4.20 4.06

    One guy is about to be a $100 million dollar pitcher and the other is complained about frequently. Wei-Yin Chen is pitcher A and Jeff Locke is pitcher B. My guess is that IF the Bucs were to pony up for Chen it would be lauded universally, but both guys have similar velocity and results and Locke is younger by 2 years. My guess is that Locke deserves a major break and Chen is way over-priced. Just saying.

  10. Alot of big market teams out on maeda due to other signings. I know it’s a pipe dream but 5 for 80 which includes 20 mil posting fee seems like incredible value based on the market not to mention only 27 yrs old.
    5 for 80 is his projected salary right now with posting

    • He’s never pitched a game in the majors. He’s too much of an unknown commodity for the Bucs to risk that kind of money. They can’t afford to make mistakes on signings.

      • I don’t disagree with risk but could get number 1 type performance at what now equates to number three cost. Even if he puts up 3 numbers then u still get market value performance. Unfortunately I’m sure dodgers will get him and he will get greinke like numbers

  11. Latos is perfect fit. Just turned 28 this month. And he’s far from a reclamation project because he’s only had 1 bad season since 09.

    • He’s had 2 straight seasons below replacement. Granted 2014 was only .1 below replacement but still not a good season. He might be worth a risk but he seems like the type of guy that’s going to end up in Pittsburgh.

  12. We’ve made such uninspiring moves this offseason, I’m actually exciting to hear about Matt Latos. Wait, maybe that was NH’s goal all along…genius.

  13. 1 reason I’m not interested in Latos is the Central’s familiarity with him.

    I would have preferred H. Alvarez or Mike Minor over Vogelsong.

    • He only had 80 Starts over 2.5 years with the Reds. Obviously not all of them were against the Central so i wouldn’t be overly concerned with familiarity.

    • I don’t know, he’s the most Pirate-y of the reclamation projects available this winter. Might not even be that much to “change”, assuming there’s no structural reason he all the sudden started allowing 10% more baserunners to score last year.

      The velo hasn’t fully recovered from 2013, but he still struck out 21% of the batters he faced as a Reds starter last year and some basic regression alone makes him an above average starter.

      If the observations about the Pirates targeting character guys are true, though, you can bet Latos will be wearing another uniform.

      • I would be fine with Fister or Latos because they both have the reasonable upside of a #3, with Latos having the same possibility of being a #2 that Liriano did when we signed him…. I don’t want a flat 1 year contract though- 1 year with a good 1 year option would be better

      • I don’t know. I like how the Pirates moved Burnett and Liriano from the AL. Now their stuff was still good, better than I thought at the time, but they were pretty foreign to the division.

        Vogelsong? 15 years worth a tape on that bum, was in the NL when he wasn’t in Japan. I figured the Giants milked that for all it was worth. Niese and Lobstein? 5s, at best.

        Only guy I find interesting is Nicasio.

        • Well in all fairness- Vogelsong pre Japan and post Japan are as much as you can be two different pitchers without switching arms

          • Might be blasphemous to say this but I think the Giants know more about pitching than the Pirates, and that cow got milked for all its worth.

                • Nope- in Fact he is in the group of most hated Pirates pitchers all-time. I don’t let that cloud the judgment that he could potentially be better than Locke- that is all I’m saying.

  14. Tim, I know the article is about Latos but i wanted to ask if Doug Fister died and i have not heard about it. The guy had back problems and a down year but i have not heard anythingon him all offseason. I would think that his track record would put him in the same category as a Latos. Right?

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