The Diamondbacks remain active at the winter meetings, now turning their attention to a possible trade that would net them right handed slugger, Mark Trumbo. According to many of baseball's insiders, as many as twelve teams could be in on a possible Trumbo deal, but for now it appears the Diamondbacks are making the hardest push.
Earlier this morning we learned from Keith Law, a possible three-way trade (how great are three-way trades by the way?) could be in the works between the Diamondbacks, White Sox's and Angels.
Hearing Skaggs-Trumbo discussion now includes White Sox possibly getting Adam Eaton, sending Hector Santiago to Angels— keithlaw (@keithlaw) December 10, 2013
For what it's worth, I think Santiago would be a very nice addition for the Angel's rotation and Eaton is a player I didn't expect to be moved, but the Diamondbacks do have other options in center.
Trumbo's main asset is his power. More specifically his right handed power, which seems to be harder and harder to find in the game these days, as teams are locking up their star right handed sluggers. Over the last three seasons, Trumbo has hit 29, 32 and 34 home runs. On top of that his average flyball/Hr distance has ranked 27th, 51st & 50th over that same period. There is no question, the power is real.
In a potential move from Angel Stadium of Anaheim to Chase Field, Trumbo's power could see an added boost as well. According to ESPN's Park Factors, Chase Field was a slightly better park for home runs in 2013, ranking 16th compared to 20th for the "Big A". In 2013 both were actually slight pitchers parks when it came to home runs. Go back another year or two and the story changes however. In 2012 Chase Field ranked 6th for home runs and in 2011 ranked 10th. Angel's Stadium meanwhile ranked 25th over that same time period.
It wouldn't be a shock to see Trumbo's power receive a slight bump with a move to Arizona.
While the power is nice, Trumbo is not the near elite hitter some in the game feel he's being portrayed as.
A brief list of players who hit better than Mark Trumbo last year (by wRC+): Marco Scutaro, Chris Denorfia, Daniel Murphy, Brett Gardner.— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) December 10, 2013
Any team trading for Trumbo thinking they're getting an offensive monster is severely mistaken.— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) December 10, 2013
Steamer projects Adam Eaton for a 112 wRC+, Mark Trumbo 113. Trading Eaton for Trumbo straight up is silly, much less adding an arm.— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) December 10, 2013
While he's shown impressive batting averages over portions of his career, including a 1st half in 2012 that saw Trumbo post a .306/.358/.608 line, I will side with the larger sample of work. Trumbo's 2nd half in 2012 was a complete 180, .227/.271/.359. His 2013 splits were also no where close to his insane 1st half 2012 numbers, coming in at .245/.312/.474 & .218/.268/.425.
Without completely getting into why Trumbo is not the .300 hitting .950+ OPS option he flashed early in 2012, it does serve us well to take a look at his contact and swinging strike rates, both of which are not pretty. Over the previous two seasons Trumbo has averaged a 39.3 O-Swing % (League Average over that time, 30.9%). Trumbo has also averaged a 14.5 SwStr% (Swinging Strike Percentage), which when compared to the league average rate of 9.2% over that same time period, shows a batter hacking at the dish.
A move to the desert would certainly be good for Trumbo's power, but there are too many warning signs that Trumbo is not the near elite level hitter many believe he is or could be.