The Cincinnati Reds traded starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, both of whom are set to become free agents following the 2015 season, Thursday in separate deals, ensuring they get something in return, rather than just losing both players to free agency next offseason.
Latos was traded to the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Anthony DeSclafani and catcher Chad Wallach, while Simon will join the Detroit Tigers, after being traded for infielder Eugenio Suarez and pitcher Jonathon Crawford.
Both Latos and Simon, as well as starters Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, were in line for large pay increases after the 2015 season, which left the Reds to decide who to try signing to an extension, or re-sign long-term after the season.
The 27 year-old Latos, a native Floridian, went 5-5 in 2014 with a 3.25 ERA in 16 starts. His season was shortened by injuries which caused him to miss the first two and a half months of the season, with Latos not making his first start until June 14.
The Marlins will be the third stop for Latos in his career, following three-year stints with the Reds and the San Diego Padres. An 11th round draft pick of the Padres in 2006, Latos became a member of the Reds when he was traded in December of 2011 in a five-player swap.
Over his six-year career, Latos has compiled a record of 60-45 with a 3.34 ERA and 859 strikeouts. In Miami, he will join a starting rotation that includes the talented, young Jose Fernandez who will be coming off of Tommy John surgery, and the recently-acquired Dan Haren, if Haren decides not to retire.
DeSclafani, 25, made 13 appearances for the Marlins last season, including five starts, and finished with a 2-2 record and a 6.27 ERA. He was the 6th ranked prospect in the Marlins system.
Wallach, 23, split time between Single-A and Single-A Advanced in 2014, hitting .322 with 7 homers and 57 RBI in 98 combined games. In two minor-league seasons, he has thrown out 26% of would-be base-stealers.
After two seasons with the Reds as a reliever, Simon moved to the starting rotation in 2014 and did not disappoint. In his only season as a starter for the Reds, he finished 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA and was selected to his first All-Star team.
The 33 year-old Simon joins the Tigers after three seasons with the Reds. He made 131 total appearances for Cincinnati, including his 32 starts last season, and departs with a 24-16 record, 3.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts.
Simon fills the void left by free agent pitcher Max Scherzer, who is reportedly seeking an 8-year deal on the open market.
Suarez, 23, hit .242 with 4 homers and 23 RBI in his rookie campain in 2014. Suarez’s presence became necessary at the major league level after starting shortstop Jose Iglesias was ruled out for the season with stress fractures in his shins.
Crawford, 23, spent 2014 with the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps, going 8-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 123 innings pitched. He was the 5th ranked prospect in the Tigers system.