CHICAGO — Mat Latos has agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, giving manager Robin Ventura another option for the back end of his rotation.
A person familiar with the situation confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced by the team. ESPN was first to report the agreement.
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Latos had consecutive 14-win seasons with Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013, but the 6-foot-6 right-hander hasn’t been able to duplicate that success in recent years. He played for the Marlins, Dodgers and Angels last season, finishing with a 4-10 record and a 4.95 ERA.
His fastball velocity dipped to 92-93 mph for most of last season, down from 93-96 in 2012.
Latos also has faced questions about his maturity. He was traded from Cincinnati to Miami in December 2014, then made critical remarks about the Reds’ training staff and said there was a lack of leadership in the clubhouse while he was there — an assertion the Reds disputed.
But Latos, an 11th-round pick by San Diego in the 2006 amateur draft, just turned 28 in December, making it a low-risk move for Chicago. He made his major league debut with the Padres in 2009 and is 64-55 with a 3.51 ERA in seven big league seasons.
Latos adds another arm to the competition for the last two spots in Chicago’s rotation. Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon form a potentially formidable front three, with John Danks, Erik Johnson, Jacob Turner and Latos in the mix for the remaining slots.
The White Sox are hoping to contend after finishing fourth in the AL Central a year ago. One of their biggest offseason moves was a trade to acquire third baseman Todd Frazier, who played with Latos in Cincinnati.