Mark Trumbo, one of only eight AL players to hit 100+ RBIs, is packing his bags and taking his all-world power to the desert to play for Arizona. In return, the Angels are receiving Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs – two starting pitchers full of potential but short on big-league experience. As the third team, the White Sox are receiving up-and-coming OF Adam Eaton from the Diamondbacks and two prospects.
This isn’t a significantly huge deal but all players involved are worth mentioning. Trumbo is pure power. He has decent speed on the basepaths and will likely head to left field on defense as he is naturally a 1B by trade, but is blocked (again) by a perennial-MVP talent (Paul Goldschmidt). Trumbo has flashed the ability to hit in the higher .200s for periods of time, but he is more than likely to be a career .250 hitter who clubs 30+ HR and knocks in 90+ RBIs. Impressive, but nothing great. And if his strikeout total continues to climb, he could become a liability. But, for now, the D-backs are getting exactly what they needed – more power from the right hand side of the plate.
The other teams involved – the White Sox and Angels – are also receiving pieces that could one day lead their team to the playoffs. The Angels and their ridiculously high payroll traded for David Freese earlier this offseason, rendering Trumbo available. The addition of Skaggs and Santiago allows the Angels to rid themselves of the Joe Blanton project and covers their earlier loss of Jason Vargas, who signed a 4-year deal earlier this offseason with the Royals. The White Sox trade of Santiago is a little puzzling, as they said earlier this offseason he was off-limits – which turns out to have been a smokescreen – but they are receiving Adam Eaton in return. Eaton is an above-average fielder and gets on base. He will score 80+ runs and can add 15+ steals. It’s possible he can even build on that and become a poor man’s Jacoby Ellsbury.
With Trumbo being sent to Arizona (and previously Peter Bourjos being traded for Freese), the Angels solved a few problems and could be the overall winners of this deal. They were overloaded at the corner infield and outfield positions, and this placates some of that bottle-necking. These moves also allowed the Angels to move Trout back to CF which will allow him to maximize his fielding range. They also filled two of their rotations spots with youngsters that could potentially be around for awhile. Although not tested, if even one turns out to be a relatively successful starter this will still be a win.
The other two teams were seemingly trading pieces around to set themselves up for future moves. The Diamondbacks still need pitching, but losing Eaton doesn’t help them get any. And although Trumbo is great, he is very similar to another guy who wore out his welcome in Arizona just a few years ago – Mark Reynolds. If they don’t want this Trumbo deal to become a polarizing emphasis for the talking heads this offseason, they need to pounce quickly on a starting pitcher. The White Sox are several years away from actually contending. Eaton is young and has time to marinate into a better player. Their outcome in all of this is still up in the air.
So, there you have it. After only two days at the Winter Meetings (and including the weeks leading up to it), plenty of players have already been moved and signed. There are still potential trades being discussed (David Price to the Dodgers, Matt Kemp to ???) and Shin-Soo Choo now becomes Big Man on Campus on the Free Agent Hot Stove. With just 72 hours remaining, it’s anyone’s guess what other video game trades and signings could happen. As long as Jay-Z remains an agent, Magic Johnson remains an owner, and Jose Canseco remains alive, anything can and could happen. Prepare for the remaining insanity.