10:48am: Toronto has no interest in Latos but might consider Dan Haren, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter links). He notes that the club is very aware of maintaining a healthy “clubhouse mix” in making any additions.
10:14am: Latos is little more than a back-up solution for the Jays, a team source tells Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (via Twitter). The team has yet even to discuss any prospect names with Miami, says Griffin, indicating that talks have not progressed very far.
9:32am: While Toronto is “tracking” Latos, he’s not among the team’s “top targets,” Morosi clarifies on Twitter.
8:46am: The Blue Jays are one of multiple teams with current interest in Marlins starter Mat Latos, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reported earlier in the month that Toronto was taking a look at Latos as a possible acquisition target.
Certainly, the more recent results have been impressive. As many others have noted, Latos has featured increased velocity and improved production since dealing with knee issues early in the year. He’s been particularly impressive in his last two outings, allowing five hits, three walks, and one earned run combined over 14 frames while racking up 23 groundball outs and 14 strikeouts.
Latos, of course, comes with some questions. Though he’s pretty much always produced positive outcomes when healthy, Latos also missed half of last year. And he isn’t cheap, playing on a $9.4MM salary, though the fact that he’s a pure rental eliminates any long-term injury risk. Obviously, an acquiring team would not be eligible to make Latos a qualifying offer.
Toronto has long been said to be pursuing one or more arms, with reports suggesting that the team is exploring a wide variety of possibilities. Latos is not as exciting as some of the top names that could be available, but he is relatively affordable from a salary perspective (compared, at least, to players like David Price and Cole Hamels) and likely won’t cost as much in terms of prospects as names like Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. That’s especially important for a Toronto club that reportedly has little payroll space available and is reluctant to part with young pitching (especially given that many of those arms factor into the present big league roster equation).