January means Hall of Fame voting. Barry Larkin has been on the ballot for a couple of years now and it looks like his time might have finally come. Larkin spent 19 years and all of them were with the Reds. His last good year was 2000 but for the 1990s, he was the best shortstop in the National League. In 1995 he won an MVP and he finished with a career OPS of .815. In all, his WAR was 68.9.
While it was 1995 that he won the MVP, 1996 was his best year. He belted 33 home runs and scored a career high 117 runs and he finished with an OPS of .977, his first of three straight years where he’d top the .900 mark. Great hitter, and he was a good fielder. Of course living here in Detroit, I think Trammell deserves to get in too but that’s for someone else to argue.
The Reds picked up on of the best relief pitchers last year from the Cubs in Sean Marshall but they once again paid a pretty penny to bring him over. The Reds dealt Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes to the Cubs for the left hander.
Marshall is a stud left hander. Last year he struck out 79 and walked just 17 in 75 2/3 innings. He also gave up just one home run. Over the past two years he has an ERA of 2.45. The Reds are without a closer for now and if they don’t sign someone, then you’re probably looking at him.
Wood was the odd man out when the Reds traded for Mat Latos. Torreyes has some potential and had a nice season for Dayton but it’s always too early to tell with a guy who’s just 19.
The Reds pulled the trigger on a major trade today when they landed Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres. Latos is still young (he just turned 24) and he’s struck out almost a batter an inning over his two years plus career. This kid also doesn’t walk manner batters and while I’d normally be worried about pulling a pitcher from San Diego because it’s such a pitcher’s park, Latos has the arm to pitch anywhere. His ERA on the road is higher but it’s still just 3.57. He’s death to right handed hitters with just a .208 batting average against in his career.
Of course he came with a steep price tag. Edinson Volquez was the headliner but the Reds also parted ways with Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger and Yasmani Grandal. Those were all in the Reds top ten prospects although Alonso and Grandal were both effectively blocked.
Of course time will tell. Most everyone is saying we gave up too much but we landed a legit starting pitcher. Who knows what those prospects will do. It does thin us out a bit though so we have to make sure everyone is healthy throughout the year.