Mat Latos on Reds’ clubhouses in 2012 and ’13: “Everything went to [expletive].”

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports had a Q&A session with new Marlins starter Mat Latos and asked him a series of questions. Latos was asked what was appealing about the Marlins, and the right-hander said that they would have been on the top of his list of potential destinations if he had not been traded and simply became a free agent after the season.

Latos suggested he could be the veteran presence on a young team that makes the difference. To emphasize his point, he pointed to the Reds after losing third baseman Scott Rolen in 2012 and starter Bronson Arroyo in 2013. Latos said, “Everything went to [expletive].” He continued:

When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town.

After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning. We lose that veteran leadership, that’s what happens. You can’t have that . . . it turns into a circus.

The Reds went 90-72 in 2013 sans Rolen, losing the National League Wild Card game to the division rival Pirates. Due mostly to injuries, the Reds finished 76-86 this past season, their first without Arroyo.

Latos will be looking to bolster a Marlins team that went 77-85 and finished fourth in the NL East in 2014. He had another strong showing, posting a 3.25 ERA with a 74/26 K/BB ratio in 102 1/3 innings for the Reds, but the 27-year-old missed 85 games on the disabled list recovering from knee surgery to start the season and elbow problems at the end of the season.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.