The Dodgers were known to be in the market for starting pitching, and this morning, it looks like they’ve added an arm to their rotation.
Source: Latos, Morse to Dodgers for prospects. At least one competitive balance pick also to Dodgers. W/ Latos off board Haren still in play
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 29, 2015
Latos always seemed what likely to land with an analytically-inclined club, given his mediocre ERA but solid FIP/xFIP numbers, and his reputation for being a bit of an issue in the clubhouse, so perhaps we should have anticipated LA as a likely destination. What this means for the team’s reported pursuit of Cole Hamels remains to be seen, but the Dodgers probably shouldn’t stop trying to acquire another pitcher, given Brett Anderson’s health track record.
Morse being included in the deal doesn’t make sense from a baseball perspective, given that the Dodgers already have a strong bench that includes a bunch of guys who are better than him, but keep in mind that the Dodgers have been aggressively using their financial resources to buy prospects, and I’d guess that this is just more of that trend continuing; rather than giving up talent to get Latos, perhaps the Dodgers convinced the Marlins to take a nothing return if LA took the remainder of Morse’s contract, which has $3 million left this year and $8 million next year.
In fact, Wittenmyer’s report makes it sound like the Dodgers are actually the ones potentially getting prospects here, with the “at least one competitive balance pick” comment. If the Dodgers are getting multiple picks back with Latos, then adding Morse’s salary might simply be the cost they were willing to pay to do so. And of course, the Marlins seem to be continually more interested in cost reductions than putting a good team on the field, so this would fit their M.O. perfectly.
We’ll have a full write-up of the deal when all the details of the deal are known.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.