Predicting the Future: Mat Latos

It’s July 14th, 2016. The White Sox are hovering just below .500 and “in the hunt” of a Wildcard spot. It’s the classic situation multiple teams find themselves in during this point of the season: go for it or get out.

In recent years the Sox have “gone for it” by not trading away players in order to obtain young talent to boost a disgusting minor league system. This has sparked numerous debates over the direction of the organization. From “Who’s in charge, Kenny or Rick?” to “Reinsdorf is cheap”…the latter being a really uneducated statement.

Now they’ve signed free agent pitcher and perpetual asshat Mat Latos to a one-year deal. Fine. Most organizations would make this signing for two reasons:

  1. They think they are a good fourth or fifth starter away from contending and hope Latos can have a cheap resurgence
  2. If he does return to form even slightly, they can flip him for a decent prospect if they’re out of the race.

My guess is that neither of these scenarios will happen. Going back to the very likely scenario at the top of this poorly written article, let’s say Latos has contributed semi-positively to the Sox being “in the hunt.” Keep in mind that, as last year showed, the Sox’ definition of “in the hunt” means they still have a shot even though there are seven teams in front of them in the standings. So instead of flipping Latos for a B-level prospect, they hold on to him and the trade deadline passes.

Meanwhile, Adam Eaton runs into a wall and gets hurt. Avisail Garcia proves he’s not a Major League player. Another prime year from Chris Sale and Jose Abreu are wasted, and the Sox finish fourth in their division. But don’t worry, they kept Latos and he gave them three more wins. Now he’s a free agent and the Sox have gotten virtually nothing from their $3mm. There you have it. I’ve predicted the future of the 2016 Chicago White Sox.

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