Well, as 11PM the RANGERS (see here MLB Twitter ) have won the rights to discuss a contract with Yu Darvish. This of course does not guarantee he DOES sign but chances are high that Texas will get it done. This is a fantastic move for a team fresh out of the World Series and coming off the heals of losing one of their top starters C.J Wilson to free agency. I would think that the young Japanese league import will be content with a 5 year deal worth upwards of $75 million but heck he could want more. Either way, the Rangers have made a bold move here to acquire a top young talent who improves their ball club right away. We'll still need to see a signed contract before making any further projections.
Mat Latos to Reds for Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Edison Volquez and Brad Boxberger :
What can we really say about the Mat Latos Deal? I am a big fan of this deal for the Padres but the Reds got the best player, at least for now, in the deal. San Diego received two high end prospects Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal as well as often injured and under performing Edison Volquez. In addition they received right handed pitching prospect in Brad Boxberger. Let's start with Alonso, who has already seen some limited major league action. The prospect does not appear to be a star in waiting but he has displayed considerably strong BA and OBP's throughout his minor league career. The reason he's not likely to be an elite player is that despite his young age (24) he does not hit for a lot of power or run particularly well. At AAA last season he hit 12 HR and stole just 6 bases. He did hit five home runs in a short stint mostly in a pinch hitting role for the Reds last season. However, playing full time in PETCO (assuming he gets regular AB) will not benefit his power numbers. If he gets the the AB, we're probably looking at a .290-10-85-7 type season. Still, let's see how the Padres decide to utilize him before making any crazy projections.
As for Grandal, the catcher prospect was promoted in season last year to AAA, which generally means the club thinks highly of the player. He has not hit for much power but continues to impress with a minor league BA in the .295-.300 range. Generally speaking a good catching prospect is one who can handle the position defensively and also be a positive with the lumber. Grandal appears to be this type of prospect.
Volquez will probably pop onto alot of sleeper lists come spring next year. I'm certain of only one thing: he has to improve his control (5.38 BB/9) before I even look his way in a draft next year. The PETCO effect will definitely aid him though. He's one to monitor closely in late spring training.
Of course, what does Latos going to the Reds mean? Well right away we're going to have to bump up his ERA projection a bit as he's going from one of the best home ball parks for offense suppression to one of the worst. You would figure he would be in line for more wins playing for a better team but wins are fickle. I would suggest that Latos may actually lose a bit of fantasy value going to the Reds (unless he lucks into more wins). Either way, great improvement for the Reds