The signing of Josh Hamilton ignited almost immediate speculation as to what it means for the Los Angeles Angels‘ outfield.
With Hamilton in the fold, the Halos have a very crowded outfield. Which means that someone is going to be traded in the very near future. It’s just a matter of who. Vernon Wells was likely on his way out anyway, but the two names that have been most popular in trade rumors have been Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo.
Each has the benefits for the team that would hope to acquire them. But Bourjos looks to be the more coveted piece by a number of teams. He was being pursued by clubs even before the Angels signed Hamilton. He’s a fantastic fielder and brings a solid offensive skill set to the equation.
But despite those tools, there’s really no room for him in the lineup on a regular basis, as his primary position is blocked by Mike Trout. It’s that fact, as well as what Trumbo brings to the Angels, that makes it a very simple decision as to who the Halos should trade between the two.
The 2012 campaign was a tale of two seasons for Trumbo. He lit it up in the first half with the stick before fading during the second half of the season. Nonetheless, his versatility and offensive potential, as well as his contract, make him an easy guy to keep in Anaheim for the future.
Trumbo’s power is indisputable, with 32 home runs on the year last season. His consistency leaves a bit to be desired, as that second half brought his average down to .268, on top of an on-base percentage of just .317. But given his ability to change a game at the plate, his offensive upside is worth keeping around.
That’s in addition to his versatility. He can play both corner infield spots, though his third base defense is obviously shaky, and both corner outfield spots. So, unlike Bourjos, the Angels can always find a spot for Trumbo. Even if they have to put him at DH occasionally.
For every report we hear of a club being interested in Mark Trumbo, we also hear that the Angels have no intention of dealing him. I tend to trust the latter. There are plenty of reasons to keep Trumbo around, and that seems to be the way the club is leaning. Expect him to be an Angel by the time Opening Day rolls around.