Tag: Mark Trumbo

MLB Trade Rumors: Trade Buzz Surrounding Ben Zobrist, Nick Swisher and More

There’s usually a lull in the MLB offseason during the holidays, but expect the peace and quiet to come to an end once the calendar turns to 2015. There’s still wheeling and dealing to be done.

For now, it seems as if even the MLB trade rumors have taken a backseat to eggnog and caroling. The few we do have focus on players with the ability to play the outfield.

The free-agent market for outfielders is mostly depleted, with options like Nori Aoki, Colby Rasmus and Mike Carp representing the best players left available for teams to bid on. Naturally, it’s not a surprise that teams searching for outfield help have turned their attention to the trade market.

Teams still have some time to make upgrades before spring training, but they better act fast. If they wait, then the best options will be gone.

Below are the latest rumors on some of the more intriguing outfielders available.


Ben Zobrist

Traditionally a second baseman or shortstop, Ben Zobrist has played over 400 career games in the outfield. He can play any position on the field except catcher, and that makes him one of the more invaluable players in the sport.

So how can the Tampa Bay Rays justify dealing him away?

Nothing is imminent yet, but Peter Gammons reports that several general managers have told him that the San Francisco Giants will eventually trade a package of prospects for the versatile veteran.

Should the Giants acquire Zobrist, they’d likely pencil him in as the team’s everyday left fielder. Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford have second and short locked down, respectively, and Casey McGehee will most likely assume third-base duties after the position was vacated by Pablo Sandoval.

Even if it’s not the Giants who acquire Zobrist, Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi writes that “there’s a decent chance” Zobrist will be moved before Opening Day.

The 34-year-old may be worth more to the Rays in a trade than he would be on a team looking like it will enter a mini-rebuild next season. A free agent after 2015, he’s owed just $7.5 million next year. That’s extremely affordable considering his value. He has produced a WAR of at least 5.4 each of the past four seasons, per FanGraphs.

A switch-hitter who can deliver a line of .270/.350/.420 with 15 homers and 70 RBI can be a difference-maker for a lineup in need of more depth. The Giants certainly do after losing Sandoval and Mike Morse to free agency.

Couple his bat with his versatility, and Zobrist is easily one of the most valuable players in baseball. The Giants better be ready to deal top prospects if they want to add him to the team.


Nick Swisher

Fresh off the worst season of his successful 11-year career, Nick Swisher has become the subject of trade rumors this offseason.

He hit just .208/.278/.331 with eight homers and 42 RBI in 401 plate appearances in his second year with the Cleveland Indians. While he still has two more years left on his contract, the Indians already appear to be moving on.

They acquired Brandon Moss earlier this offseason, a player with the exact same set of skills as Swisher. He’s a first baseman who can also play the outfield but should really be the designated hitter—just like Swish.

Naturally, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports that the Indians “would like to trade him.” It won’t be easy to trade someone coming off such a bad season. Indians general manager Chris Antonelli has to sell him to other teams as a big bounce-back candidate, but even that might not work.

Cafardo lists the Chicago Cubs as a possible trade partner. On paper, that seems like a fit. The Cubs have a talented young roster but need to infuse some more veteran leadership in the final months of the offseason. Jon Lester is there to command the pitching staff, but there isn’t someone to help groom the young hitters.

With Anthony Rizzo firmly entrenched at first base, Swisher could play a semi-regular role as a corner outfielder. He’d have to yield time to Jorge Soler and others, of course.

Perhaps a one-for-one deal could work if the Indians are interested in taking Edwin Jackson from the Cubs. Sometimes a change of scenery is good for struggling veterans. At the very least, the Indians would be getting another arm who can be used in the back of the rotation.

We’ll have to wait to hear more information on a potential Swisher trade, as Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer writes that “the Indians consider Jason Kipnis, Bourn and Swisher three of the keys to 2015.”

Conflicting reports are nothing new this time of the year, so we’ll just keep waiting.


Other Outfielders

Plenty of teams have outfield depth from which to deal. Morosi lists nine teams and several players who could be involved at some point, with Zobrist and Swisher both named on the list.

He writes that we should see “heavy activity” when it comes to outfield bats following the holidays. Among the list of names are a few intriguing ones.

Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies, Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels, Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds and Mark Trumbo of the Arizona Diamondbacks are among those names probably on the unlikely-to-be-dealt list; however, the craziness of this offseason should leave our minds open for anything.

Trumbo is a player who would certainly garner interest if made available, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweeted back on Dec. 10 that nobody has been able to gauge Arizona’s interest in moving him:

Piecoro tweeted a few days earlier a quote from Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart regarding the idea of moving the slugger:

It would be hard to justify moving Trumbo. Sure, he only slashed .235/.293/.415 in 362 plate appearances, but you have to remember that he was troubled by a foot injury for most of the season. Even still, he hit 14 homers and drove in 61 in 88 games.

That’s nearly 30 home runs and over 100 RBI projected over a full season, and one would have to assume that his slash line would have approached his four-year average with the Angels—.250/.299/.469—had he been fully healthy.

Trumbo is a valuable bat for an Arizona team that might surprise next season. He, Paul Goldschmidt and Yasmany Tomas form a tough trio for pitchers to work through, and their are plenty of other young hitters ready to take the next step.

Arizona should only move Trumbo if it is blown away by an offer. Given his performance last year, it probably won’t be.


Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @kennydejohn.

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Diamondbacks’ Mark Trumbo Really Overestimates Distance on Fly Ball

Mark Trumbo of the Arizona Diamondbacks has played a number of positions during his career, but it looks like he isn’t exactly the most consistent outfielder.

While playing in left field, Scott Van Slyke of the Los Angeles Dodgers crushed a ball deep in Trumbo’s direction. Trumbo overestimated the distance of the ball, leaping all the way up on top of the fence.

Unfortunately for Trumbo, the ball didn’t come close to where he was, falling short of the wall. Van Slyke ended up coasting into second base for the easy double.


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What Arizona Diamondbacks Can Expect from Mark Trumbo in 2014

The Arizona Diamondbacks‘ biggest offseason move was acquiring Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels back on Dec. 10.

He is nothing short of a power hitter, slugging at least 29 homers each year since 2011. Trumbo and teammate Paul Goldschmidt are going to provide headaches in the top half of the lineup, especially with left-handed hitting Miguel Montero batting in between them.

What can fans expect from their newest acquisition?

Trumbo has played the first four years of his big league career with the Angels. More recently, he has been in the background as Los Angeles spent millions and millions of dollars on guys like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

Looking at the trade, the 28-year-old got the upper hand in the deal. He won’t be playing first base anymore, a position he struggled with in Los Angeles. He gets 81 games in a dome, three times as many games he has played in a dome in his entire career (27).

Let’s start with the bad side and get it out of the way.

Trumbo whiffs at a ton of pitches. He has increased his strikeout total in each season since becoming a starter in 2011. He struck out 120 times in 149 games that year, and the Californian followed that up in 2012 with 153 punchouts in 144 games. Last season, he had 184 strikeouts in 159 games.

Is that number going to drop? Yes. Of the 184 strikeouts from last season, 98 of them came in his division, the American League West. Thirty-one of those came against the Texas Rangers and 25 came from the Seattle Mariners.

The reason it will improve is because the 2014 NL West will not have the same type of pitching the 2013 AL West had. Yes, the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke, and the Giants have Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain.

However, many of the pitching staffs in the NL West are loaded with finesse pitchers, the type Trumbo has been most successful against in his career. More than half (49) of his career home runs (95) have come against finesse pitchers, with another 31 homers against hurlers who average a little of both power and finesse.

As for power numbers, don’t except a huge increase. Hitting at Chase Field for 81 games will be beneficial to his home run total. Trumbo should go ahead and make his reservations at Friday’s Front Row for the 2014 season.

His new divisional foes do not sport the friendliest of parks for hitters, though. Only three major league parks saw fewer home runs than the Giants’ AT&T Park. Dodger Stadium had the sixth-fewest long balls and the Padres‘ Petco Park had the ninth fewest.

Of course, the exception in the NL West is the Rockies’ Coors Field and its thin air.

Trumbo hit 19 of his 34 homers last season at home, which again is good for the home crowd at Chase Field. Last season also marked the first season of his career in which he drove in at least 100 runs. He should be able to do it again with the hitters that precede him in the lineup.

Gerardo Parra and Aaron Hill are expected to hit first and second, respectively. They will be followed by Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero, who didn’t have his best season last year.

With the exception of Mike Trout, those players have better numbers in terms of getting on base than those who preceded Trumbo in Anaheim.

Trumbo isn’t a guy who is going to be on base all the time, rounding the bases and scoring runs. His career high is 85 runs, which he earned last season. He doesn’t walk very often and isn’t threatening enough to get a free pass.

He has been intentionally walked just 15 times in his career. His new leadoff hitter has more than double that with only one more year of MLB service.

He is going to take his hacks and drive the ball into the gap, over the wall or nothing at all. Trumbo is a home run threat when he comes up to the plate but can be an easy strikeout victim.

However, sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery for a player to show just how good he is.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

You can follow Trey on Twitter @ treydwarren

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Winners and Losers of 3-Way Mark Trumbo Trade Between Angels, White Sox, D-Backs

In any trade, the ultimate goal is for each team involved to get a positive return on the deal. This normally isn’t the case, as it’s fairly easy to go back and decide which team “won” an actual trade. And some trades involve multiple teams, which makes it even more difficult to end up with a “win-win-win” situation. 

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers was involved in a pair of three-team trades last offseason, one of which (Heath Bell, Cliff Pennington to D-Backs; Chris Young to A’s; prospect Yordy Cabrera to Marlins) yielded fairly mediocre results all around and could be looked upon as a wash at this point.

The other, at least as of now, had a clear winner, as the Reds received an amazing season from Shin-Soo Choo. The D-Backs received a strong defensive shortstop, Didi Gregorius, who had a solid year at the plate as a rookie. But the verdict is still out on the 23-year-old, who will compete for the starting job with Chris Owings.

Neither trade was a complete failure for the D-Backs, as pitching prospect Trevor Bauer, who was sent to Cleveland in the deal, has taken a few steps backward in his progress and doesn’t appear as though he’ll make the D-Backs regret the trade any time soon. 

So Towers is back at it again, working with the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox to help fill needs for each of the three teams. 

The three-team trade, first reported by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, has slugger Mark Trumbo headed for the Diamondbacks, where he’ll fill their void for another middle-of-the-order power hitter, while the Angels receive two controllable starters in left-handers Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs. The White Sox receive center fielder Adam Eaton, which could put the team in position to make another trade to free up space in a crowded outfield. 

Two players to be named later, one from the Angels and one from the White Sox, will head to the Diamondbacks in the deal. 

While it’s too early to definitively declare a winner in the deal, we sure can analyze it and give our first impressions of the deal for all teams and players involved.

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Report: Arizona Diamondbacks Acquire Mark Trumbo Amid More Questions

The Arizona Diamondbacks finally acquired the slugger that the team coveted, completing a deal for Mark Trumbo, a rumor that Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal had first reported yesterday.

The completed deal for Trumbo involves the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox. It was first reported and then confirmed as complete by The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro. ESPN’s Keith Law was the first to report the D’Backs talks with the Angels had expanded to include a third team.

The D’Backs gave up a lot to make the deal happen. Tyler Skaggs was supposed to be a key component of the D’Backs rotation moving forward but hit a bump last year in his road to the major leagues. Instead of giving newly installed pitching guru Dave Duncan an opportunity to work with the 22-year-old lefty this spring, the team included him as part of the package for Trumbo.

The other part of the team’s package was traded to the White Sox in the form of Adam Eaton. It has to raise eyebrows that the organization soured so quickly on Eaton after making him sound like he was the spark-plug that the team had been missing going into last spring training. Only an injury kept Eaton from making he big club out of spring training, something that was lamented as part of the D’Backs struggles last season. Eaton struggled in his 250 at-bats last season, posting only a .314 OBP, but has shown great ability in the minors to get on base.

Getting back Trumbo will provide the D’Backs with home runs, runs batted in and a young, cost-controlled player. But, the D’Backs will be playing him out of position in the outfield where he has struggled in his career. Arizona has also traded much of their depth for a 27-year-old player with a .299 career OBP and a player who has shown that he might be the second coming of Mark Reynolds. The power will be there, but can Trumbo develop into a better hitter?

Now, two more young players have been dealt, continuing an alarming trend where the D’Backs seem to be displaying very little patience with struggling prospects, but they seem to continually give the benefit of the doubt to veterans like Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and Miguel Montero. Arizona has already dealt lefty prospect David Holmberg last week in order to facilitate moving Heath Bell and his contract out of town. MLB‘s Steve Gilbert reports that the D’Backs will be getting two prospects back in the deal.

Skaggs and Holmberg can be added to pitching prospects Jarrod Parker and Trevor Bauer as players the organization has given up on very quickly and dealt. The D’Backs seem to be struggling to develop young pitchers to be ready at the major league level immediately.

Top prospect Archie Bradley will have a tremendous amount of pressure on him to reverse this trend with the franchise. Bradley will need to be good from the start in order to live up to the hype and expectations that are likely to be added to him. It’s a tough spot to put the young hurler in.    

D’Backs general manager Kevin Towers clearly looks to be operating like a man trying to save his job while living up to his gunslinger reputation as someone who is constantly looking to make trades. This trade feels forced, like something that you do when you want to show that you are doing something. While having an open-minded general manager is good, having one that continues to display very little patience might not be the best thing for the long-term continuity of the franchise.

Trumbo might help the D’Backs in the immediate short-term, but it will likely be a minor improvement. The question now becomes: Will Towers be around long enough to see the deal payoff?

Information used from Ken Rosenthal/Fox Sports, Nick Piecoro/Arizona Republic, Nick Piecoro/Arizona Republic, Keith Law/ESPN, Baseball Reference, Steve Gilbert/MLB.com


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MLB Rumors: Arizona Diamondbacks Interest in Mark Trumbo Hard to Understand

The Arizona Diamondbacks want to protect slugger Paul Goldschmidt, but trading for Mark Trumbo is not the answer. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the rumor that Trumbo might be in play between the D’Backs and the Los Angeles Angels.

This is the same Trumbo who currently sports a sub .300 OBP for his career. The 27-year-old Trumbo would provide power but little else to the Arizona lineup. This isn’t a young prospect, this is a player who will be turning 28 before Opening Day next season. 

Rosenthal later followed it up with a tweet that said that the D’Backs were “pushing” for Trumbo along with other teams. Teams will be looking at the fact that Trumbo has hit 95 home runs combined over the past three seasons and will be under team control until the 2017 season. 

Trumbo has also played the majority of his four major league seasons at first base, meaning the D’Backs would likely be plugging him into left field. Trumbo is a below-average fielder who would immediately impact the D’Backs outfield defense in a negative manner. 

It’s expected that the D’Backs would be sending pitching back to the Angels with Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reporting that talks for Trumbo might be centered around Trevor Cahill and Tyler Skaggs. Trading Cahill would make some sense from the D’Backs point of view, moving close to $20 million off of the books owed to Cahill over the next two seasons. 

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto is likely to have interest in Skaggs because ironically enough, Dipoto was the D’Backs interim general manager who acquired Skaggs and Patrick Corbin as part of a deal for Dan Haren back in July of 2010. Skaggs was supposed to be the centerpiece, but Corbin has become the pitcher that everyone thought Skaggs would be at this point.

For the D’Backs, it’s hard to see if there is a plan in place at this moment. Trading Justin Upton last year only to turn around and trade for Trumbo a year later doesn’t make much sense. Trumbo is an imperfect fit in the desert, a limited hitter and fielder who will be asked to protect the D’Backs best hitter. Unless the D’Backs believe they can improve Trumbo‘s at-bats, Goldschmidt will likely be pitched around all season with Trumbo batting behind him.

Upton may never have fulfilled the potential that was projected for him, but he is still a better overall player than Trumbo, one who filled many of the needs the D’Backs are currently looking for this winter. Upton’s combined WAR over the past three seasons is 11.0 compared to Trumbo‘s 7.7 WAR. 

Trading Cahill would also be another acknowledgement by D’Backs general manager Kevin Towers that he missed on another player evaluation, this time by trading top prospect Jarrod Parker to the Oakland A’s for Cahill back in December of 2011.

If the D’Backs are really looking to add a power-hitting outfielder, they should be looking at a player like Corey Hart. Hart’s career slash line is .276/.334/.491 with 154 career home runs. Hart missed all of 2013 due to knee surgery, but if healthy, would provide a much better player to add to the roster and will likely have to take a one-year deal to prove his health.

It sounds like something might happen with Trumbo as MLB‘s Alden Gonzalez tweets that there is a “good chance” Trumbo is traded during the Winter Meetings. 

If Trumbo lands with the D’Backs, it will create only more questions.

Information used from Ken Rosenthal/Fox Sports, Baseball Reference, Rosenthal/Fox Sports, Tim Brown/Yahoo Sports, Alden Gonzalez/MLB

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The 5 Key Los Angeles Angels Players Who Have Played Their Final Game in Anaheim

A Los Angeles Angel today, not a Los Angeles Angel tomorrow. That’s the reality several of the key players on the Angels roster face as the organization moves into a busy offseason.

With several large contracts already tugging at the tax threshold ($189 million) and arbitration cases looming, general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia will not have the benefit of playing heartstrings, choosing which players to trade like kids swapping baseball cards on the playground.

Whatever gets the team the best crop of pitching depth, while shedding salary, will be the more likely scenario—which usually includes the best available players.

But don’t expect a fire sale—a la Miami via Florida Marlins—leaving a platoon-like feel during the next 162 games.

Things are not that dire in Anaheim, not even close.

With MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reporting the current list of possible names on the trade block has grown to include Hank Conger, Chris Iannetta and Peter Bourjos to go along with Mark Trumbo, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick, I can realistically see only four of the six not coming back in 2014—with one less-speculated member of the team making a cameo.

Sure, there are the no-brainers—Tommy Hanson will be non-tendered this offseason. Joe Blanton, unless there is some camaraderie with Arte Moreno we don’t know about, will be released. Third baseman Chris Nelson seems like a long shot to throw $1 million to, even though the team doesn’t have a lot of depth at the position, and J.C. Gutierrez doesn’t have the numbers to match his arbitration value ($1.1 million).

Their collective exits from Anaheim are almost inevitable, and I imagine none of them will cause any what-if scenarios or loss of sleep for the decision-makers.

The same can’t be said, however, for another group of players that I think have played their final game in Anaheim. Yep, it’s me predicting things, again—I know.

But don’t let that deter the violin playing in your head as you look at these five swan songs of Anaheim.



Mark Trumbo

The Angels have reportedly told several teams they would be willing to trade Trumbo this offseason according to ESPN’s Buster Olney on Twitter, and seeing how the crop of power-hitting first base-types isn’t really strong, the notification should be well received by other teams.

There are drawbacks.

Trumbo has been one of the more productive Angels hitters the past three seasons, totaling 95 home runs with 282 RBI—which impacts a substantial portion of the Angels offensive attack. However, that impact is only evident if you go off his home run and RBI numbers alone. His poor on-base percentage and second-half declines have had a downward trend.

At 28, there is still time for Trumbo to develop his pitch recognition and selection, cutting down his strikeout numbers and increasing his walks. The possibility for improvement also holds true for his defense, and he can always provide a solid option at DH.

Luckily, the power is what makes Trumbo a target, not his glove.

Not meeting the arbitration number for Trumbo ($4.7 million) is a savvy play by the organization, and getting arms in return for him is also a smart move by the team. 

No question, it won’t be the easiest departure. However, with C.J. Cron performing so well in the minors last season—along with his impressive Arizona Fall League run—and a healthy Albert Pujols, the Angels have first base covered.


Howie Kendrick

Kendrick is a tough case, holding rank as a one of the few veterans in the Angels’ clubhouse, but like Trumbo, he is a an enticing chip for the Angels to use when negotiating for pitching depth.

The need for second base help is out there, making the move by the Angels more likely. There was reported interest from the Blue Jays at the trade deadline from Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, but those rumors remain as simple speculation. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks the Kansas City Royals are another possibility.

Kendrick is owed $18.85 million over the next two seasons, and dumping that salary would greatly help towards the tax threshold.

(At this point I would imagine that you have said Grant Green at least once. Maybe twice.)

There is good reason to have concerns about Kendrick’s replacement, especially if the third base position becomes a major question. But Green showed a solid progression after coming over from the Oakland Athletics (via the Alberto Callaspo trade). Third base will have to play out in spring training. It’s a risk, putting a lot of pressure on players like Andrew Romine and Luis Jimenez.

That risk, however, doesn’t seem to concern the Angels all that much. Otherwise, they wouldn’t mention Kendrick or Aybar this winter.


Peter Bourjos

The Angels can stand to lose portions of the outfield group. It’s loaded. And if cutting ties with a fan-favorite like Bourjos will help solidify a deal, then so be it.

He showed improvement at the plate in 2013, hitting .333 in his first 40 games, before suffering a wrist injury that limited his play to only 15 more after that.

Bourjos‘ defense is still his strongest asset, providing the kind of solid center-field coverage teams love and have trouble finding, and with Olney tweeting that the Angels are willing to move him or Trumbo, there should be some interest in Bourjos.

Though a deal for the speedy center fielder would probably need to include other pieces for teams to bite, it’s still a smart move by the organization.

Any scenario that gives Trout complete control of center field in Anaheim is a good thing. Maybe it will help with a future extension?


Jerome Williams

Williams hasn’t been linked to any trade deals, and I doubt he will. But his inclusion in the list is important.

He will be the one arbitration-eligible player I can see the Angels having second-thoughts about non-tendering.

I considered a few scenarios in which the Angels keep the right-handed, sinker-baller as a spot starter and reliever, but $3.9 million (his arbitration value) is a lot of money to give a pitcher as inconsistent as Williams. I can’t see that scenario working.

Non-tendering him seems to be the plausible route. The move will free up money that can be used elsewhere—maybe towards the Jason Vargas negotiations—and give the Angels more wiggle room with their bullpen.

However, that doesn‘t mean he wasn’t a key element—bad or good—the past few seasons. 


Hank Conger

The Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliott reports both Conger and Chris Iannetta have gained the interest of the Toronto Blue Jays, as possibilities to fill their catching needs in 2014.

Iannetta, the older, more experienced and pricier of the two, would presumably be the expected offer from the Angels. But I don’t think this is going to be a one-for-one-type of deal that only sends Iannetta north.

Because the Jays are seemingly intrigued by several areas the Angels can offer players (catcher and second base), I still believe this will be a deal that involves Kendrick and a catcher.

Because Iannetta and Kendrick together would be pricier, the younger, switch-hitting option is Conger. The 92 games he played in 2013, hitting a decent .249 while improving behind the plate, should add intrigue to the entire deal, which should still get a nice return to the Angels. And that’s the goal.

As Jerry Dipoto told MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, they know it’s not going to be easy:

Obviously, we’re on the lookout for it. But there aren’t many ways to access that type of talent. You draft it, develop it, wait. That’s the most tried and true and sure method to acquire that type of pitcher or potential impact. Obviously, the other way is via trade, because those aren’t guys that pop up on waiver wires, they’re not guys who pop up on six-year free-agency lists, etc.

Hopefully, it works.

Otherwise, it’s the Los Angeles Angels GM today, not the Los Angeles Angels GM tomorrow.


Note: All stats provided were courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted. Salary info was courtesy of MLBtraderumors.com.

Follow Rick Suter on Twitter@rick-suter

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New York Mets: 3 Ideal Trade Partners for R.A. Dickey

Before signing with the New York Mets, R.A. Dickey was treading water at the Major League level, finding little success in Texas, Minnesota or Seattle with his knuckleball

Now, after three seasons in New York and one National League Cy Young Award, Dickey was hoping to end his career with the team that gave him another chance and put him in a position to have the massive success that he has had. 

However, the knuckleballer and the Mets don’t seem to be in agreement on a contract extension and Dickey has threatened to leave in free agency if one is not worked out by spring training. 

Since the two sides seem unable to work out a deal, the Mets could be inclined to deal their 38-year-old ace. Who are the best fits for a trade of the reigning Cy Young award winner?

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Boston Red Sox Should Make a Full Court Press for Mark Trumbo

Thursday in his article for the Providence Journal, Brian MacPherson brought up the excellent point that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have themselves a log-jam of sorts with first baseman.

Obviously, the Angels are not going to be parting ways with Albert Pujols.

After all, he is only one of the greatest players to ever take the field. What’s more, he also is in the first year of a 10-year, $240 million contract that makes him a permanent fixture with the Angels until 2021.

MacPherson lists Kendry Morales as a potential candidate for the Red Sox. Certainly, his potential is attractive, especially considering the cost would be relatively low for him.

During the 2010 season, Morales had a breakout year. He had a career best .306/.355/.569/.924 batting line with 173 hits, 43 doubles, 34 home runs with 108 RBI and 86 runs scored.

In other words, he would be the ideal fit to play in Fenway.

However, in his six seasons in the big leagues, that is the only time Morales has shown that type of production, which makes one weary that the 29-year-old could replicate those numbers in Boston, if even at a low risk salary.

That being said, the Boston Red Sox should absolutely go hard after 26-year-old Mark Trumbo. He is a first baseman by trade being squeezed in as a DH and outfielder where available. The signing of Pujols coupled with the breakout performance of Mike Trout has given Trumbo less value to the Angels than he had one year ago.

In just his second full season for the Angels, Trumbo has proven himself to be a beast on a team full of beasts.

With the Angels, the team has an embarrassment of riches and quality players. It is sort of like trying to pick your favorite Led Zeppelin album, there is just so much good to choose from.

In 278 career games, Trumbo owns a career .262/.308/.491/.799 batting line. This season has truly been his coming out party. He owns a .278/.332/.522/.854 batting line with 128 hits, 30 home runs, 16 doubles and 81 RBI.

To reiterate the fact, he is only 26-years old. His ceiling is nowhere near being reached.

Trumbo, in 34 career games owns a .316/.34/.693/1.038 batting line with four doubles and 13 home runs against the American League East opponents… in their ballparks.

On the whole he has played AL East opponents (not named the Red Sox) 68 times with 15 doubles and 17 home runs, posting a .281/.305/.550/.855 batting line.

In short, he’d be a phenomenal addition to a rebuilt Red Sox lineup in 2013 and would be a guy under team control until 2017.

Don’t be fooled though, he would not come cheap. The Angels would likely be after some more young prospects, however, the Red Sox have plenty to offer up.

Is this a deal that could come to fruition? Possibly. Should it come to fruition? In a perfect world…

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5 MVP Candidates Who Are Getting Paid Like Scrubs

It is certainly a bit of a misnomer to use the term “underpaid” when discussing professional baseball players. With a new league minimum salary of $480,000, even the sixth outfielder and the lefty specialist make more annually than the President of the United States. Make no mistake—if you’re talented enough to catch the eye of a big league team, you have the chance to become better paid than the majority of Americans. The league minimum is nothing to sneeze at, but the league average is a tick above $3 million—a paycheck most of us would be hard-pressed to complain about. 

Of course, all players—and all player contracts—are not created equal. They are frequently based on past performance and hope to approximate future performance, an inexact science at best. It is not uncommon for aging players to perform significantly worse in the final years of their contracts than they did when they first signed it, and every now and then you get players whose numbers take drastic and unexplained dips soon after signing mega-deals.

These so-called “albatross contracts” haunt the dreams of every major league GM, who want nothing less than to sign the next Dan Uggla ($13 million, batting .210), Bobby Abreu ($9 million, recently designated for assignment by the Dodgers) or Vernon Wells ($21 million for a whopping -.4 WAR per Fangraphs).

But on the other end of the spectrum are players who are playing well above their pay grade. These are mainly younger players who have yet to become arbitration eligible, but have already started to contribute in big ways to their big league club. For some of these players, the right break for their team in the playoff race could mean a big boost in their MVP candidacy (as we have seen in recent years, MVP voters very much factor team success into the spirit of the award). 

We can quantify the extent to which a player outperforms their paycheck by calculating their cost vs. performance score—the average MLB salary divided by the player’s salary, multiplied by the player’s WAR. 

Read on to find out which legitimate MVP candidates are being paid less than Jack Wilson.

All salary figures are courtesy of Baseball Player Salaries, and all batting stats are courtesy of Fangraphs.

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