With the Angels acquisition of Albert Pujols along with the presence of Bobby Abreu at DH and Kendrys Morales on the mend, Rookie of the Year runner up, Mark Trumbo, doesn’t seem to have a place to play. And, no, he’s not a legitimate option at third base. According to Baseball Reference, Trumbo did not play a single game at third base in the minors and he only played a total of 33 games in the outfield. Besides, Alberto Callaspo more than held his own their last season (3.6 fWAR and very positive defensive metrics). Even if Trumbo could play a passable left field, the Angels are set with Hunter in right, Peter Bourjos in center and Vernon Wells in left, not to mention super prospect Mike Trout ready to jump in.
While GM Jerry Dipoto has stated that the team is likely done making moves, there are sure to be teams calling about Trumbo, who posted a .768 OPS with 29 home runs at age 25. What possible trade partners are out there for the Angels?
Athletics – The first rumor that made the Twitter cycles was Trumbo to the A’s. Given Trumbo’s sub-.300 OBP, that would seem like a very un-Billy Beane like move.
Blue Jays – The Jays have been rumored to be interested in Prince Fielder, but that doesn’t mean that they are in need of a first baseman. They still have Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion to use between first and DH as well as prospect David Cooper. Aside from their depth at first, the Jays are run by Alex Anthopoulos, who like Beane, values players with good plate discipline, something Trumbo severely lacks.
Brewers – The Angels have been rumored to have interest in third baseman Casey McGehee in the past, but after McGehee’s disastrous 2011 season, they’re interest has likely soured. Having traded away most of their top prospects over the last couple of years, the cupboard is a little bare, so there's no clear match in that regard. How about this one though: Francisco Rodriguez has accepted arbitration and will return to the Crew in 2012. Could Trumbo be part of a deal that brings K-Rod back to the place where it all started for him? Maybe not, given his contract, which should exceed $12M, but the Brewers might be willing to eat some of that salary in the right deal. Hmmmmm....
Cardinals – As much fun as this would be, it’s not going to happen. The Cards can slide Lance Berkman into the spot vacated by Pujols, which would allow postseason hero Allen Craig to start in right. They also have big power hitting prospect Matt Adams, who our own Mark Smith ranked as “good” and wrote:
“Most of what you’ll hear about Adams revolves around his massive size, but once you look past that, you see a solid player. At the plate, he has plus power and could hit 30+ homers a year, and he even adds a solid hit tool.”
In other words, the Cardinals have options.
Cubs – They already have OBP killers in Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney to work around, so Trumbo doesn’t seem like a fit, especially with Theo Epstein running the show.
Indians – With Matt LaPorta looking more and more like a major bust, the Indians have a need at first base. They also have some bullpen depth, which is something that the Angels are looking for.
Pirates – The Buccos are pretty much over Garrett Jones at this point. They’ve expressed interest in bringing Derrek Lee back, but given the makeup of their club, they’d likely have interest in plugging in a younger player. While they don’t have a ton of bullpen depth, there are some mid-level prospects with upside (i.e. Starling Marte) that could be of interest to the Halos.
Rays – Casey Kotchman certainly gave the Rays tremendous value last season, but it seems clear that the front office doesn’t expect a repeat performance in 2012. They’re first base position is wide open and Trumbo would bring some much needed pop to their lineup. However, for an organization that values on base skills, Trumbo doesn’t seem like a great fit. Should the Rays decide to pursue Trumbo, however, they certainly have pitching depth to offer.
I don't see the Angels giving up a guy under their control for 5 more seasons. Better would be to eat (at least) half of Vernon Wells' contract and trade him cheaply to a team needing a solid platoon OF vs. LHP.
@lbprguy I'd think the Halos would have to eat about all of Wells' contract to get rid of him. Given their recent investments and huge increase in payroll, I don't see that happening. Even if they did move Wells, Trout would be his replacement, not Trumbo. Abreu will be gone next year, but that still leaves no room for Trumbo in 2012, especially with Morales possibly returning to action.
The fact that he's under team control and coming off of a runner-up ROY season makes his trade value as high as it might ever be. Dipoto wants to add OBP (Ianetta, Pujols) and Trumbo definitely does not fit that bill.
We'll see what happens.
@CharlieSaponara indeed, the point of selling low in Wells is to get Trout into LF on opening day.
@lbprguy Agreed. Trout needs to play.