Shedding more tears over the crying need for depth

By now, you’ve probably dissected yesterday’s trade between the Padres and Reds, the biggest of the offseason. And you might have banged your head against the wall a few times.

The Padres shipped starter Mat Latos to the Reds for starter Edwin Volquez, first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Brad Boxberger.

That’s quite a haul for the Padres, who now have Alonso and Triple-A first baseman Anthony Rizzo, acquired from the Red Sox in December 2010 as part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade.

it must be nice to have enough minor league depth to pull off that kind of a deal. Think the Orioles could have offered a similar package for Latos? Think the Orioles have someone like Latos that could bring them that package?

Latos has his faults - he regressed a bit this year and his maturity has come into question - but he’s made 31 starts in each of the last two seasons. He was 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA, 50 walks and 189 strikeouts in 184 2/3 innings and placed eighth in the National League’s Cy Young voting in 2010. He went 9-14 with a 3.47 ERA, 62 walks and 185 strikeouts in 194 1/3 innings this year.

Latos is only 24 and isn’t arbitration-eligible until 2013. He’s also a former 11th-round draft pick.

Drafting and development. It can pay dividends if done properly.

In return for Latos, the Padres get a starter, first baseman, catching prospect and pitcher who can start or relieve and is projected by some to be a future closer. Alonso, Grandal and Boxberger are former first-round picks.

The Orioles simply can’t compete at this point.

There’s talk that the Padres could deal Rizzo or flip Alonso, who isn’t suited to play the outfield at Petco Park. The Cubs reportedly could be a match, which would take them out of the Prince Fielder sweepstakes.

The market for Fielder could be growing smaller. Intrigued?

Anyway, according to another report, the Padres might make a run at Cubs starter Matt Garza.

The Orioles could use a starter like Garza, but what the heck do they have to offer if some of their best bargaining chips are off the table?

Building depth takes time. It’s just unfortunate that the Orioles aren’t farther along in the process.

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