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Mat Latos trade: Marlins receive three minor pitching prospects from Dodgers

The Miami Marlins are getting minor league pitchers Jeff Brigham, Victor Araujo, and Kevin Guzman in the deal. None of these players were rated as top-20 organizational prospects.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins became a part of a larger three-team deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, but the principles for the Fish remain unimpressive. The Marlins sent off starter Mat Latos and the dead-weight contract of first baseman Michael Morse to the Dodgers, but their competitive balance draft pick eventually ended up in the hands of the Braves. In return, the Fish mostly received salary relief, in particular the right to not pay Morse his remaining $11 million or so due.

But the team did also receive three pitching prospects from the Dodgers organization. Given the players Miami sent away and the fact that the franchise refused to pay any of the remaining salary on those players' contracts, the expected return was small. Joe Frisaro of finally reported the names involved..

None of those three pitching prospect names are located on the top 20 lists of Dodgers prospects before the 2015 season. Brigham was the closest, as he was listed as a name to watch by a few writers, including John Sickels Minor League Ball and Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs. Brigham is a right-hander with a hard-throwing fastball and a developing slider who came out of college at the University of Washington. He was a fourth-round draft pick in 2014, mostly because he appeared closer to big-league ready. Brigham had previously had Tommy John surgery as an underclassman but seems to have recovered well, as he has mid- to high-90's heat touching 97 mph on starts. His slider is fringe average at this point, but in college and in the lower levels, he has been able to use the fastball primarily to get hitters out.

However, this season he has struggled working mostly in High-A. He is walking 11.3 percent of batters faced with just a 20 percent strikeout rate, and he is having issues with home runs in a very hitter-friendly California League. He is doing this while being 23 years old and having come out of college more polished than the average prospect. In addition, you can see where Brigham might run into problems as a starter, given that he is a righty with no way of facing left-handed hitters aside from burying his average-at-best slider in the dirt at their feet. It is much more likely that he becomes a typical sinker/slider right-handed reliever than anything else.

The other two names are relative unknowns. Araujo is a 22-year-old righty who used to be a starter but then was converted to relief last season, but he has been poor this season in High-A. Guzman is a 20-year-old righty who worked out of the Dodgers' Low-A affiliate this year. He has the best season numbers of the three, though he is working a far lower level. He is a starter as of right now, but he is so far down the list of both talented prospects and of minor league levels that essentially nothing is known of him.

The Marlins got what they paid (or, in this case, didn't pay) for in terms of the trade return. With the Fish using the value of their draft pick and Latos mostly to offload Morse's contract, the prospects they received turned out to be low-upside players with little chance of turning into regular contributors.