The Blue Jays are far along in discussions with right-handed pitcher Mat Latos, reports Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. Latos, 29, posted a 4.89 ERA in 17 games last season, splitting time between the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals.
Latos was one of the best starting pitchers in baseball from 2010-2014, boasting a 3.27 ERA over 143 starts. It's been a different story ever since, as he's struggled to the tune of a 4.93 ERA over the past two seasons, and he's split time between five different teams in that span.
Although he averaged 94 mph on his fastball to begin his career, he's fallen to around 91 mph over the last few seasons. His strikeout rate dropped all the way to 13.6% in 2016, significantly lower than his career average of 21.2%, but the Jays can hope to catch lightning in a bottle here with a bounce-back season.
Latos would provide much-needed depth in the starting rotation, and the Jays could also look to try him out in the bullpen. He's known for possessing a plus-slider, and pitching in short-stints could allow him to regain his velocity.
For now, we will keep an eye out to see if a deal gets finalized between the two sides. Expect a low financial commitment, as Latos' struggles of late significantly hurt his market.