What Trade By Yonder Alonso Breaks? Reds Slugger, Others To Padres For Mat Latos

The Reds had no room for Yonder Alonso, since he can't really play anything but first base. Saturday, they turned him into a useful starting pitcher.

There wasn't room for two first basemen in Cincinnati; Joey Votto, the incumbent, is a past MVP winner and thus wasn't about to be pushed off the position by power-hitting prospect Yonder Alonso.

The Reds tried Alonso in left field, but he was awful there:

And thus, the best thing they could do with him was offer him up in a trade, and today that happened:

Reds acquire SD’s Mat Latos for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez.
Dec 17 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

At first glance, this seems a lot to give up for Latos, who turned 24 just a week ago and has had two solid seasons for the Padres, and who isn't free-agent eligible until 2016 (arb eligible in 2013).

Alonso hit .330/.398/.545 with five home runs in just 88 at-bats for the Reds after being called up late in the year. Volquez would seem to be the key to the deal, but he's spent much of the last three years injured. If he returns to his 2008 form, when he made the NL All-Star team and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting, while going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.327 WHIP, the Padres will have a steal; Boxberger and Grandal appear to be throw-ins.

On the other hand, the Reds had an extra asset that they had no place for and turned him into a No. 2 or No. 3 starting pitcher -- that's not easy to do, especially since he's under team control for at least four more seasons.

The other issue for the Padres is Petco Park, which in the past has been death on lefthanded power hitters like Alonso. He'll need to overcome that perceived issue to make this deal worth it for San Diego.

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