Why Trading for Mark Trumbo was Never a Good Idea

By Chad Cramer
Mark Trumbo striking out for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the Arizona Diamondbacks traded for Mark Trumbo, there was a very mixed reaction among Diamondback fans. While acquiring Trumbo was helpful in that it gave MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt protection in the middle of the lineup, many people thought that Arizona gave up too much.

Tyler Skaggs was set to audition for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, and Adam Eaton was likely to be the starting center fielder and leadoff hitter for Arizona. Both players are very young, and while they may have struggled a bit last season, they have lots of potential and could have been useful pieces in the future.

Skaggs has pitched lights out this season, sporting a 2-0 record with a 3.21 ERA. Seeing as how much the Diamondbacks rotation has struggled thus far, Skaggs would have been a huge piece of the rotation. While in hindsight it is easy to say he should not have been traded, even before the trade, he was looking to be a valuable piece of the Diamondbacks rotation. Zips projected him to have an ERA of 3.81, which would lead the current Arizona rotation by 1.69 over Wade Miley.

Adam Eaton, like Tyler Skaggs, has started off the 2014 season playing very well. He is hitting .282 with a .373 on-base percentage. In comparison, AJ Pollock, who is Arizona’s current starting center fielder, is hitting just .235 and has an on-base percentage of just .288. While offense has certainly not been the main problem this year in Arizona, it would not hurt to have a leadoff hitter who gets on base almost 30 percent more often than the current leadoff hitter.

Mark Trumbo, who started off the season scorching hot, has cooled down rapidly, and is now the owner of just a .210 batting average. While he is leading the National League with seven home runs, he is not helping the offense in any other way. He has just three other extra base hits, and is averaging over one strikeout per game.

On top of his hitting woes, he is an absolutely horrendous defender as he already has a -0.7 dWAR. If you prorate this number over the course of 162 games, it would come out to a dWAR of -5.4. This means that he would have given the Diamondback 5.4 losses with his defense alone. To give a bit of context, Adam Dunn, who is often regarded as one of the worst defenders in history, has a career dWAR of -5.9.

All factors considered, Kevin Towers made a huge mistake pulling the trigger on this trade. While it was nice to add power to a lineup lacking in it, what Arizona received in Mark Trumbo was not nearly worth what was given up in Tyler Skaggs and Adam Eaton.

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