12:15pm: Latos’ deal comes with a $1.5MM base salary if he makes the Major League roster, and he can earn up to $500K worth of incentives based on a mix of starting- and relief-based milestones, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi (Twitter link).
11:15am: The Blue Jays announced that they have indeed signed Latos. He receives a minor league contract with an invite to Major League camp this spring.
10:00am: The Blue Jays have agreed to a deal with right-hander Mat Latos, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (via Twitter). Nicholson-Smith reported yesterday that the two sides were in negotiations. Latos is represented by the Bledsoe Agency.
Latos, still just 29 years of age, will add some depth for both the rotation and the bullpen in Toronto. The Jays figure to have Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano in their starting five this coming season, but Estrada dealt with a herniated disk in his back in 2016 while Liriano had an up-and-down season between Toronto and Pittsburgh. Latos, coming off a down season himself, at the least provides an experienced arm should one of those five struggle or sustain an injury.
Latos opened the 2016 season with the White Sox and got off to a strong start, logging a stellar 0.74 ERA through his first 24 1/3 innings with the South Siders. That excellent mark was buoyed by a .167 BABIP, though, and the 13-to-7 K/BB ratio that Latos logged in those four starts also served as a bad omen. Over the next six weeks or so, Latos posted a 7.25 ERA with 18 walks against 19 strikeouts before being released in mid-June. He’d later hook on with the Nationals and toss 9 2/3 innings, during which he yielded seven runs on 11 hits and five walks with 10 strikeouts.
The past couple of seasons have been a struggle for Latos, and it’s possible that the root of his problems can be traced back to Spring Training knee surgery three years ago with the Reds. While Latos returned from that operation to enjoy solid bottom-line results in 2014 (3.25 ERA in 102 1/3 innings), his velocity was down about two miles per hour following the surgery. In the two seasons since that time, he’s never fully recovered the life on his fastball, and despite a solid 15-start stretch in the middle of the 2015 campaign, he’s logged a collective 4.93 ERA in 186 1/3 innings across the past two big league seasons.
Prior to the 2015 season, however, Latos was among the game’s most consistently excellent young arms. From 2010-14, he posted a 3.50 ERA or better each season with the Padres and Reds, averaging 8.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9.
Latos could also provide a bullpen option for the Blue Jays, whose primary right-handed options at this time are closer Roberto Osuna and setup men Jason Grilli, Joe Biagini and Joe Smith. While the majority of Latos’ career has been spent as a starter, he’s made relief appearances in each of the past two seasons. He could conceivably look to earn a spot as a multi-inning reliever in the ’pen or hope that switching to shorter, one-inning stints could help him to regain some of the lost zip on his fastball.
Someone call an oncologist to administer (clubhouse) cancer treatments!
Throw him in the pen and see how that works if not send him down to buffalo for a nice summer vacation
Lol Buffalo – the epicentre of tourism in the United States of America
Latos is on to his 6th organization (Marlins, Dodgers, Angels, White Sox, Nationals… now Blue Jays) since leaving Reds after 2014, now his 8th organization total in an 8 year MLB career.
How quickly a guy can go from a cornerstone to a journeyman…
Was hoping he could bounce-back to what he used to be for my Sox last year (enough to at least deal away for something or good enough to reject a QO in a terrible free agent class). Obviously was not the case. Dude is toast.
I didn’t realize you could acquire Latos without involving 5 other teams and 37 different players. In seriousness though, he’s probably done but not a bad guy to take a flier on and hope he climbs back up the cliff he fell off. He’s had enough changes of scenery to suggest that isn’t the issue, but maybe he’s figured something out to at least be a viable option as rotation depth. If not, didn’t lose much by signing him.
I can’t believe he is still that young. Dude fell off hard and fast. He was a stud for awhile in Cincinnati, sneaky good for my fantasy teams too. Hope he can turn it around
Can’t believe a American League team signed this guy. The AL East hitters will be fighting at the bat rack to line up against him. Pitchers are always ahead of the hitters for the first six weeks of the season. Maybe the BlueJays front office see this guy as a early season stop gap to a issue we aren’t privy to with one of their primary starters???
lol try AAA players will be eager to grab a bat and step in against him – otherwise he is a 5th starter in event of injury; yawn.
He’s just depth, no reason to jump to the conclusion that someone is injured.
He is there 6th starter so he’s almost guaranteed MLB starts
Mike Bolsinger might actually be the 6th starter at the moment, but regardless, the Jays now have two starters in the minor leagues with significant major league starting experience. Neither has a place in a playoff contender’s starting 5, but there’s not a team in the league with 7 legitimately good starters.
If someone gets seriously hurt I’d expect Biagini to get stretched out anyway.
Good depth signing. Im assuming it’s a minor league deal.
And it is.
Big signing! Now the Jays are world series bound! Sarcasm to heavy?
Comeback career. He’ll end up being one of the favorites out of the bullpen. I hear he’s down 10 pounds and added the velocity he was missing. Back to 92. Glad to have ya Latos.
Keep dreaming lol
Nobody say anything bad about him
He’ll fit right in with the d-bag personalities in Toronto. Tulo, Bautista, and now Latos. Funny that such bad personalities represent the mild-mannered stereotype of Canadians.
I don’t agree with this signing, but at least Bautista and Tulo put the team first. Latos threw his teammates under the bus. I’ll disagree about them being d-bags but they definitely are not in the same group as Latos
Oh no you’re right. Latos is cancer. Bautista and Tulo are just a lingering cough.
Can we stop doing this “cancer” thing? Please? Like real human beings have cancer and real human beings die from cancer. Ok? Latos may be a lousy teammate – by all accounts he is – but can we stop the use of the “c” word? Cancer is a disease, not a personal defect.
People die from drowning, so can you please stop flooding the comments with pointless sensitivity?
Let’s see — stereotypes, name-calling, judgmentalism, ad hominem insults, bullying, repetitive comments….
I’ll bet you can clear out a room just by entering it.
Buster, please Move. There are plenty of other Internet tough-guy sites where you’d fit right in.
Twitter is great for hot takes. This site, as far as I’ve been involved with it, has always reached for a higher ground.
Rooms clear, but it’s linked more to my horrible disco moves.
Sorry to offend, but saying someone is a cancer in a clubhouse is a common saying. It is not to take away from victims of the disease. Anything can offend anyone. We can’t change the English language because of it.
How is Tulo in that group?
Just rubs me the wrong way. Never liked him. No real reason.
Not taking away from his talents. He’s good. He just has a hot temper. If he was on my team I’d probably love him. Such is the way of sportsball.
He may have had a long Rockies career and you might be a Giants fan… Not putting you down cause I hate him too
I just don’t like him because he’s an average SS making superstar money on a team with tight fisted owners.
There is no possible way that anyone could make a case for Tulo being an average SS. Overpaid, sure. Well above average still. Some of these elite young SS are passing him but he is still top 10 without a doubt. A shortstop with a glove like Tulo shouldn’t hit so well.
Plus, without Tulo, the Jays still have Reyes on the books. What’s not to like about Tulo?!?
Prospects were the key piece for the Rockies of course, but if they don’t take Reyes, the Jays don’t take Tulo. So the alternative to Tulo is still to pay Reyes. I take Tulo 100 times out of 100.
Wonder how many different organizations he will pitch for this year? Eventually the music stops and all the chairs are taken.
If Latos is humble enough, perhaps he will flourish in the bullpen..
i think this was an easy move…while the negativity on these posts makes me laugh i think its a great move for him as a reliever/replacement for injured starter ( curious on the incentive deal) while stretching out biagini for 2018..all for a bag of hockey pucks..
JA Happ, Francisco Liriano, Jason Grilli, Russell Martin, Jose Tabata, Jose Bautista, Steve Pearce, Harold Ramirez, Reese McGuire
…this roster looks awfully familiar.
Catch tha Taste
We’ll take Cutch too since you guys are running him out of town.
“You guys”…I’m not in that camp. Cutch is going to have a nice comeback year IMO.
Player once very good, now in steep decline or viewed as washed up due to injuries or other circumstances? Do these types of signings ever pan out?
He’ll be out of the organization by the end of July