Bomber Bites With Jumping Joe-Mark Trumbo Next Arizona Import?
By Joe Vitulli
The Yankees and Diamondbacks have been close trading partners over the last several years. Before the 2010 season, the Yankees worked out a three way deal including the Tigers that saw Curtis Granderson arrive in the Bronx. Earlier this season the two teams swapped Vidal Nuno for Brandon McCarthy. Then yesterday the Tigers, Diamondbacks and Yankees again worked out a three team deal that ended up with Shane Greene going to Detroit, Didi Gregorius coming to the Bronx and two prospects headed for the desert. Is it possible that another deal could happen this off-season between the Yankees and Dbacks?
Mark Trumbo was acquired by the Diamondbacks last off-season from the Angels and showed off his big power early in the season. However, he missed over two months of the season with a stress fracture in his foot. When he returned, he struggled with his timing. He finished the season with a .235 average to go along with 14 home runs and 61 RBI.
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The 2012 All Star is looking to bounce back in 2015. The 28 year old is only entering his prime years and figures to return to his home run hitting ways that led him to average over 30 home runs a season from 2011-2013. However, he may be doing it in another uniform.
The Diamondbacks signed 24 year old Cuban prodigy Yasmany Tomas this off-season to a six year $68.5 million deal. Both Tomas and Trumbo are primarily poor defensive power hitting left fielders. It figures that since the Dbacks don’t have the benefit of the DH in the National League they will try to trade Trumbo before the season starts.
Steamer projects Trumbo with a .245/.303/.461 line and 31 home runs next season and he will probably get around $5 or $6 million in his first year of arbitration. That is cheap right-handed power, which is in short supply in the MLB.
The Yankees already have a crowded outfield with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Chris Young signed to be the main four outfielders. However, they need a backup first baseman, a position that Trumbo has played in the past. He could also provide insurance for Alex Rodriguez at third base should the Yankees not resign Chase Headley. Plus there is always the DH spot.
Trumbo is below average wherever he plays in the field. However, rotating him among several positions, a day in the outfield, a day at first, a few at DH would limit his overall exposure in the field and if healthy he could be the right-handed power source the Yankees desperately lack.
One of the more troubling issues that faced the Yankee lineup in 2014 and one that figures to linger over into 2015 is the lack of a right handed power bat in the lineup. The two big switch hitters in the lineup, Beltran and Teixeira, both struggled at the plate last season. Next season, a year older but perhaps healthier they are wild cards as to what their production will be. The only other right-hander that might be able to provide power in the lineup is Rodriguez and he is certainly the wildest of wild cards. No one has a clue what to expect from the PED scandal plagued former three time MVP.
Trumbo would alleviate those concerned with such an unbalanced lineup and make a manager think twice about leaving a tough lefty in to face the Yankee hitters. Over the course of his short career, Trumbo has hit a home runs every 16.2 at bats against lefties and has a .506 slugging percentage against southpaws.
According to ESPN’s David Schoenfield, “Trumbo shouldn’t be too expensive to acquire, with the D-backs probably looking for pitching prospects or young, major-league ready arms. He’s not a star and was overrated during his Angels days…” The Diamondbacks reportedly weren’t interested in a Greene for Gregorius deal straight up but maybe the Yankees could convince them that a package including Chase Whitley and Jose Ramirez with Austin Romine as a sweetener could persuade new Diamondback GM Dave Stewart to the pull the trigger. Acquiring Romine could allow Arizona to then trade Miguel Montero and rid themselves of his salary.
Trumbo is young, cheap right-handed power that would upgrade the Yankee offense for pennies on the dollar. He would be insurance for when Teixeira inevitably landed on the DL next season at first and would be an excellent DH when Beltran and Rodriguez get hurt as well. He may be a little one dimensional, he is a pure power hitter who can do little else at the major league level, but that one dimension is one that the Yankees sorely lack.