mariners

More Mariners Moves — A Towering Trade For Trumbo

Slugging OF/1B/DH Comes To Seattle

Losing streaks can do funny things to a baseball team.  They can make great leaders rise up, All-Star players press, MLB managers grind their teeth, and they can make baseball general managers over pay for players.

Can Trumbo's power improve the M's struggling offense?

Can Trumbo’s power improve the M’s struggling offense?

I’m not saying, right off the bat, that the Seattle Mariners trading for Mark Trumbo was a bad deal.  He could very easily come into Seattle, bat in the middle of the lineup, and hit 30 homers in the remainder of the season that ends with the M’s in the playoffs.

That hasn’t happened, at least not yet, so all I can do evaluate this trade is look at what the Mariners got in exchange for Trumbo’s services.

If I had to use a single word to describe this trade for the Seattle Mariners it would be this–  Expensive.

The Mariners gave up four players in exchange for two.  Two of them were major league level players in Dominic Leone and the catcher they just acquired, Welington Castillo.  Four for two already makes it an expensive deal but let’s look closer.

The Bill

Dominic Leone was a dominate reliever for the Mariners, last year.  He had a 2.17 ERA in 57 appearances in 2014.  In 2015, he had really struggled in 10 games with a 6.35 ERA.  His struggles were enough to get him sent down to AAA only to be recalled when injuries cropped up.

Leone had struggled in 2015 but he's proved he can pitch.

Leone had struggled in 2015 but he’s proved he can pitch.

Welington Castillo was the veteran catcher the M’s needed to backup Mike Zunino.  Apparently they changed their minds on that idea in just 15 days.   He played in just six games and hit .160 but six games is hardly enough of a sample size to make a judgment.   Jesus Sucre will have to rejoin the M’s as the backup catcher now.

The Mariners also gave up two prospects in OF Gabby Guerrero and SS Jack Reinheimer, who had ranked out as the M’s #5 and #14 prospects, prior to the trade.  Guerrero had been struggling since being moved up to AA ball where he hit just .215.  Reinheimer  also was at AA hitting .277.

Renheimer was clearly a surplus prospect for the M’s as they have middle infielders coming out of their ears in their minor league system.  Guerrero, nephew, of Vladimir Guerrero, however might someday be a piece the M’s regret letting go at least if there is anything to the science of genetics as it relates to baseball.

The Return

So, the M’s get Trumbo.  He can play both corner outfield spots and he can play a solid first base too.  I personally like the idea of him playing in left field.  I’d much rather see an outfield of Jackson, Cruz and Trumbo than any that include Dustin Ackley.

Trumbo can also give Logan Morrison a day off or he can platoon with him too.  You can certainly have him backup up Cruz in right or even have him DH too so he does have a certain amount of versatility.

If you like power, then you’ll like Trumbo.  He’s a guy that has and should hit 30 homers a year.  He’s already hit nine for Arizona this season.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to project 20 more at this point.

What he does not do is hit for a sexy average or get on base at a high clip.  He’s going to hit about .240 and he’s going to get on base at about a .300 rate.  Strangely enough the M’s get on base as a team at about the same rate, .298.

So how much does he improve the Mariner’s lineup?  He it improves it a little bit.  Since he bats right handed it certainly balances it a bit more.  Here’s a lineup card I’d like to see.

Does Trumbo take any pressure off Cano to turn it around?

Does Trumbo take any pressure off Cano to turn it around?

1 CF Austin Jackson R
2 LF Seth Smith L
3 2B Robinson Cano L
4 RF Nelson Cruz R
5 3B Kyle Seager L
6 DH Mark Trumbo R
7 1B Logan Morrison L
8 C Mike Zunino R
9 SS Brad Miller L

 

The problem I see with this potential lineup is it’s almost too much power and not enough guys getting on base regularly.   The M’s have scored too great a percentage of their runs this year via the solo homer.  Trumbo won’t help that number.

Perhaps the forgotten part of this trade is the other piece that comes to the M’s and that would be pitcher Vidal Nuno.  Nuno is another veratile player in that he has experience as a starter and as a reliever and he’s left handed.

The Mariners have two of their five starters in on the DL right now.  Mike Montgomery got his first MLB start the other night and pitched well but with both Hisashi Iwakuma and possibly James Paxton out until the All-Star break the M’s are going to need another arm in the bullpen.

Nuno’s career numbers aren’t too pretty but he’s been red hot in 2015 with a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings since being recalled from AAA.  He had thrown a 3.38 ERA in 50.2 innings down there this year prior to his recall.

What Does It All Mean?

Was it a good move?  Ask me again in September.  I’ll have a better idea then.

For now, I’ll call it what I already called it, expensive.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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