The Nationals have agreed to a minor-league deal with right-hander Mat Latos, according to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. Our Chris Cotillo reports that the deal includes multiple opt-out dates for later in the summer.
Latos signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the White Sox prior to the 2016 season. The 28-year old was coming off of a mixed season in which he played for three different teams in 2015. Though he started well for the Miami Marlins, Latos struggled with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels.
Mat Latos just told me he has signed a minor league deal with Washington pending a physical . He will report to minor league camp .— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) June 29, 2016
While April seemed to treat Latos well with the White Sox to begin the season, it wasn’t long before he hit hard times once again. Latos’ first four starts all ended with the tall, right-hander going at least six innings in each, and allowing a total of just two runs.
Since then, however, Latos made a stretch of seven starts during which only one game ranked above average by Bill James Game Score with a score of 53. In fact, four of the games finished 30 or lower by the measure that marks ‘50’ as an average start.
The Nationals boast the second-best rotation in all of baseball by FIP. Signing Latos could add some major-league experienced injury depth to the roster. However, with Lucas Giolito recently called up, the addition of Latos could cover his organizational absence. That is to say, the Nationals might be trying to keep Giolito with the big club for an extended period of time. Adding Latos grants that flexibility while adding further depth in case of additional injuries.