Reds, Padres Exchange Young Talent

It's a rare occurrence in baseball when we see a trade that almost exclusively involves very young players. On Saturday, however, the Padres and Reds got together and exchanged some outstanding young talents. The star of the deal is clearly Mat Latos, who is headed to the Reds, but San Diego received an impressive package of young players as well.

First and foremost, the Reds did a solid job in upgrading their rotation in this deal. Latos is one of baseball's most promising and successful young pitchers, and logic would say that the 24-year-old only figures to improve in the coming years.

There are some mild concerns when in comes to Latos, however. As good as he's been early in his career, he saw his plus velocity takes somewhat of a dip in 2011. He still lives around 91-95 mph, but we're seeing less of the upper 90s velocity we've seen from him in the past. His strikeout rate dipped rather significantly as well. So, if you want to put a negative spin on his acquisition, those are some things to keep an eye on. Latos is somewhat unconventional when it comes to his delivery and we'll have to see if his plus stuff holds up.

As excited as Reds' fans should be about Latos, there's perhaps more reason to be enthusiastic for San Diego Padres' fans. They acquired two potential cornerstone offensive players in Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso, both of which are not far away from big league action. Alonso, in fact, could be a major contributor right out of the gate in 2012.

As for the other two players San Diego received, they could bring some value as well. Edinson Volquez is still a capable big league starter, with a potential to return to his previous form. And, Brad Boxberger gives them a very young power arm with plus stuff out of the bullpen. The good news is that he too could very much be ready to be a big league contributor in 2012.

Make no mistake, both teams helped themselves for the 2012 season and beyond in this deal. But, if you had to make a bet on the ultimate long term winner, it just may be the Padres.

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