The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation Tuesday, signing Mat Latos to a one-year, $3 million deal, as reported by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
Latos, 28, is the picturesque low-risk, high-reward type scenario the Sox needed at a position of relative weakness with the season quickly approaching. The Sox had a solid 1-2-3 of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon, but lacked depth and were in the market for a fourth starter.
Not only does Latos give the Sox a much-needed rotation boost, but he is also a right-hander. The four mainstays in the Sox rotation (Sale, Quintana, Rodon, John Danks) are all southpaws.
Over seven seasons with five clubs, Latos has compiled a 64-55 mark and a 3.51 ERA. He has notched double-digit wins on three occasions, including 2010, his second big league season, in which he finished eighth in Cy Young voting.
After hovering around a 3.30 ERA through his first six seasons, Latos struggled last year, hobbling to a 4-10 record with a 4.95 combined ERA. He spent time with three different teams in 2015 – Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels. Over the past few seasons, Latos has dealt with numerous injuries, including meniscus surgery in his left knee in 2014.
Against American League clubs, Latos is 9-4 with a 3.93 ERA in his career. He has never pitched at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, however.
The conservative nature of the deal should give the Sox the flexibility to go after potential upgrades at shortstop (namely, Ian Desmond) or outfield (Austin Jackson, Dexter Fowler), or make a splash in the international free agent market.