The Arizona Diamondbacks were hell-bent on acquiring an outfielder, whether through trade or free agency. Almost as soon as the Winter Meetings began the Diamondbacks were linked to Mark Trumbo and free Shin-Soo Choo. Now, Mark Trumbo will join Paul Goldschmidt in the desert with Trumbo headed to the outfield.
Trumbo comes over from the Los Angeles Angels in a three-team trade that will see Adam Eaton head to the Chicago White Sox and Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs heading to the Angels. The Diamondbacks will also receive two players to be named who are widely believed to be Brandon Jacobs and A.J. Schugel.
The problem is the Diamondbacks gave up a lot to obtain a player whose best asset is his power but has major holes in his swing. Yes, Trumbo will pair with Goldschmidt to form a formidable power tandem. However, Trumbo isn’t great in the outfield and his on-base percentage leaves a lot to be desired. Furthermore, the Diamondbacks sent two cheap players with a fair amount of potential between them away, including Skaggs who could be a frontend starter.
Trumbo could do well in Arizona. He has the power to alter games. However, his defense is also bad enough to negate that. He is hardly fleet of foot and doesn’t take very good reads to balls when he played in the outfield with the Angels.
The Diamondbacks also lose Eaton who will most likely move to a corner outfield spot in Chicago with Alejandro De Aza in center. He should demonstrate some double-digit power but he can be an on-base machine for the White Sox with his ability to foul pitches off and slap the ball.
Trumbo is the more well-known between him and Eaton but Eaton does a lot of things well. Trumbo just does one thing well, knock the snot out of the ball. He will remind a lot of people in Arizona of Mark Reynolds, able to hit big home runs but offering little else in the form of offense. Reynolds was also better at defending his position than Trumbo is in the outfield but Trumbo strikes out less.
Power is still the sexy treat in baseball. It is a valuable commodity because it has become rare these days. Trumbo definitely has the power but the soon-to-be 28-year-old right-handed hitter has posted a career slash line of .250/.299/.469 with 95 home runs, 284 RBI, 80 doubles, six triples and 465 strikeouts in 460 career games. He has gone over a .300 OBP once in his career, posting a .317 mark in 2012, a season in which he hit .268.
The Diamondbacks did need some power infused into its lineup. They finished 26th in Major League Baseball with 130 homers hit. The problem is they gave up a lot to get that power. They had a potential ace in Skaggs and leadoff hitter in Eaton and I would be willing to bet that Arizona will be looking to replace Skaggs and Eaton down the road.