Adrian Gonzalez

Dodgers, Marlins, Braves trade involving Mat Latos “simply being held up by paperwork”

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UPDATE, 10:24 PM ET: According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the three pitching prospects headed to the Marlins are Jeff Brigham, Victor Araujo, and Kevin Guzman.

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9:45 PM ET: Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has the updated outline …

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8:53 PM ET: Los Angeles is also getting top Braves prospect Jose Peraza, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. This is a massive, complicated trade.

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8:47 PM ET: That starter heading from Atlanta to Los Angeles would be left-hander Alex Wood, according to Rosenthal and Morosi. And the Dodgers would also get current Braves closer Jim Johnson. In return, they’d receive Morse and a compensation pick.

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8:44 PM ET: Joel Sherman of the New York Post is hearing the Braves will send a young starting pitcher to the Dodgers. Sherman says it would be someone who could slot into the Los Angeles starting rotation right now.

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8:22 PM ET: That third team is the Braves, per Rosenthal. They wouldn’t be a fit at all for Morse. This trade may look completely different than some earlier reportings after all is said and done.

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8:20 PM ET: According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, there is indeed a third team involved. Which probably has something to do with Morse. Still some moving parts here, but it does sound close.

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7:28 PM ET: Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the deal is simply being held up by paperwork. Sounds like we’ll be hearing something official soon.

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5:21 PM ET: Not so fast, my friends. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the trade sending Mat Latos and Michael Morse to the Dodgers “could be falling apart.” He says that Latos and Morse are still in the Marlins’ clubhouse. Marlins manager Dan Jennings said this afternoon that he hadn’t heard about the trade being close. It’s been reported this afternoon that the Dodgers are trying to flip Morse to a third team, so that could be the holdup. It’s also possible, perhaps, that David Price being made available is making the Dodgers rethink. But we can’t know, really. Stay tuned. Fasten your seatbelts. Etc.

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11:51 AM ET: In the market for starting pitching help and always willing to take on some unwanted salary to get a deal done, the Dodgers have acquired right-hander Mat Latos, first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse, and a competitive balance draft pick from the Marlins for three minor leaguers.

Latos is the guy in this deal the Dodgers wanted. After a rough start to the season he’s turned things around with a 2.96 ERA and 43/9 K/BB ratio in his last seven starts. Latos has durability issues and seems to rub people the wrong way wherever he goes, but he’s a 27-year-old starter with a 3.43 career ERA and immediately upgrades the Dodgers’ rotation behind aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

Morse is a potentially valuable player too, but the Dodgers have an All-Star first baseman in Adrian Gonzalez and a crowded outfield already, so his inclusion in the deal is mostly about the Marlins wanting to shed his $8 million salary for 2016. Morse signed a two-year, $16 million deal with Miami this offseason, but has hit just .214 with a .592 OPS in 52 games at age 33.

The value of the draft pick heading the Dodgers’ way shouldn’t be overlooked, because it’s basically a late first-round pick in the top 40 overall. A first-round pick going from a rebuilding team to a contending team doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then again it is the Marlins and the Dodgers are happy to buy something valuable that was handed out in the name of “competitive balance.”

No word yet on the three minor leaguers headed to the Marlins.