In Latos, the Marlins get a big arm that had to deal with some injuries in his recent past. He had bone chips removed from his right elbow in 2013 and had to have left knee surgery a few days before the 2014 season. He was able to make 16 starts this past season, going 5-5 with a 3.34 ERA. The Marlins feel they have done their “due diligence” and Latos will be able to make his start every 5th day in 2015.
What is a bit confusing about this deal is that the Marlins are basically taking on a one-year rental as Latos will be a free agent at the end of the year. That said, he is a Florida native, so maybe the Marlins feel they will be able to extend him when the time comes.
In Latos, the Marlins get a very strong presence for their rotation. Lots of Ks to go against scant BBs, Latos’ big frame has a great downhill motion and with the dimensions in Marlins Park, his numbers could get real dominant, real fast. The rotation gains some stability as Latos will join Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart, Nathan Eovaldi, and Tom Koehler until Jose Fernandez comes back, which is expected to be around mid-season 2015.
In trading DeSclafani, the Marlins send away another one of their touted young prospects, who was representing the Marlins well in the Arizona Fall League with a 2.67 ERA in 6 starts. DeSclafani will turn 25; meanwhile Latos is only 27.
In Chad Wallach, the Marlins are giving up on a promising hitting prospect at catcher, but his path seems very much blocked with Saltalamacchia and JT Realmuto in front of him. Wallach is the son of former big leaguer Tim Wallach.