There was a time not that long ago that Mat Latos was looking like one of the top arms in this free agent class. Back in early 2014, for example, when folks started looking ahead to what could be a huge free agent class after 2015, Latos’ name was right up there among the best in the class.
Don’t believe or remember? Consider this: heading into 2014, Latos had averaged 4.0 WAR over the previous four seasons. And he was due to become a free agent just after his 28th birthday. That’s a guy who was gonna get paid.
And then he got hurt a whole lot. And there were a whole lot of clubhouse stories. And then his velocity fell off a whole lot. And then he got traded a whole lot. And then he underperformed a whole lot.
The team taking the plunge? The White Sox.
With a rotation that features Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Carlos Rodon, the White Sox have an elite group at the front, but they’ve got some questions at the back. Latos will now get a shot to answer some of those questions – and answer some about himself, too. If he succeeds, he can hit free agency again at just 29.
For the record: I did not have Mat Latos signing before Dexter Fowler this offseason. My word.