"Business," he said, over and over. Nothing personal.

Indeed, with every question about the circumstances around the pre-Christmas trade that sent Mat Latos from the Padres to the Cincinnati Reds, the often-playful pitcher's expression goes as cold and unfeeling as the business side of baseball. His eyes turn to slits, same as they do when he stands on the mound and peers over the fingertips of his glove before the next delivery, the quality of which was worth a quantity of four Reds players with major-league qualities of their own.

If he wanted to, Latos could take it as a grand compliment, the fact that Cincinnati was so willing to give up such a bounty for him. Some would. He won't. Not yet.