The Cincinnati Reds are heading into 2013 the same way they came into the 2011 season, as NL Central champions. A 97 win season caused the MLB world to take notice of a young and promising Reds ball club. Now, with the decision to bring in seasoned outfielder Shin Soo Choo, the Reds have made it clear they are not content standing pat. However, the Reds have been rumored to give starting pitchers Homer Bailey and Mat Latos lengthy contracts prior to this April. In my mind, both of these pitchers are must-haves for an organization that has so much homegrown talent.
After an off season trade that sent Latos from the San Diego Padres to Cincinnati, the Reds enjoyed Latos’s 3.48 ERA and 14 wins. Perhaps the most enticing part of Latos’s game is his on-the-field maturity at age 25. For the last three seasons, he has started 30 or more games in each of them. A durable, yet productive pitcher like Latos is hard to come by in any league. If in fact the Reds can sure up this right-hander they will be sitting pretty in the NL Central without a doubt. I see Latos as a perfect complement to the staffs ace in Johnny Cueto.
In addition, Bailey is also arbitration eligible and might score a big payday in the coming weeks or days. The seventh overall pick in 2004, Bailey has improved in each of his six seasons with 2012 being his best effort to date. Starting in 33 games and maintaining a 3.68 ERA he brought in 13 wins for this Reds team. This pitching staff was one of the most consistent in 2012 as three of the teams five starters threw 200+ innings (Cueto, Bailey, Latos).
Bailey and Latos both deserve lengthy extensions in my mind, and this Reds organization has no bones about shelling out the money to home grown talent, evident by both Jay Bruce and Joey Votto‘s recent deals.
Look for Cueto, Latos and Bailey to make an impact for years to come with the Reds. If Cincinnati isn’t careful these studs might end up elsewhere.