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Nationals will add Mat Latos in September

Washington has a revamped deal with the starter.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The clock was ticking for Mat Latos and the Nats, who had until today to decide just what exactly they were going to do with the 28-year-old hurler’s minor league deal.

Latos’ season has been a measure of extremes, with his absurd start (0.74 ERA through 24.1 IP with the White Sox) nullified by a troublesome slump (7.25 ERA and 9 HR through the following 36 IP). He had regressed, hard, and you could blame the drop in his velocity over the years on a series of knee injuries if you wanted to, but the truth was, the White Sox just didn’t have a use for a pitcher who could lose a game all on his own.

The Nationals scooped him up in late June with a minor league deal riddled with escape clauses for Latos to find another option. But, as Ken Rosenthal reported, Latos didn’t want one.

It makes sense, after that downward spiral, that Latos would elect to stay. With Triple A Syracuse, Latos has found a small groove, making three starts and accumulating a 1.06 ERA, with 10 SO and 7 BB in 17 IP. Plus, in going from Chicago to Washington, he’s latched onto a contender to whom he could realistically contribute.

Latos will join a staff in Washington that lost Stephen Strasburg to the 15-day DL last week. Despite the absences of Strasburg and Joe Ross, Latos appears to be a part of a wide swath of pitching options for the Nats, who also don’t face any real threats as far as taking the NL East goes with a month to play.