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Latos deal helps Dodgers; jury's still out for Braves and Marlins

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Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The complicated three-team deal built around Mat Latos and Hector Olivera looks like a great move for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a mixed bag for the Atlanta Braves, and yet another trade for the Miami Marlins in which the owner can't keep his hands out of the till.

The Dodgers desperately needed another starter, with two of their planned five starters from Opening Day out for the season and no organizational starting pitching depth. Mike Bolsinger has far outstripped expectations and his minor league performances, but he also has been very fortunate to keep the ball in the park as much as he has, and isn't someone the Dodgers would want to roll out in a playoff game. Enter Latos, who has been pitching as well as he did in his two full seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (2013-14, when he had a 3.32 ERA/3.48 FIP over 420 innings and just more than 8 WAR), but has had bad luck with men on base, especially in scoring position, something that is out of line with the rest of his career. He's getting more outs with his fastball, the new splitter has become a very effective second weapon even as his slider has regressed, and his control is as good as it was before injuries took out half his 2014 season. He's a big upgrade in quality and in quantity -- he takes some pressure off the bullpen -- and is probably worth two extra wins to the Dodgers the rest of the way, perhaps more if you compare his production to the current crop of Dodgers fifth starters.