The talk of baseball all afternoon– mostly (OK, entirely) because it’s all that there was to talk about– has been the three-team deal between the Angels, Diamondbacks, and White Sox that is finally fully brewed, it seems, after hours of percolating.
In the end outfielder Mark Trumbo has moved to Arizona (along with a couple PTBNLs), pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago go to Anaheim, and outfielder Adam Eaton winds up in Chicago. And… wow, really? The Angels added two halfway decent pieces to their rotation for Mark Trumbo? Right-handed power, man.
It’s hard to relate this to the kind of return that Jose Bautista could bring in a similarly structured deal, because Trumbo is just about to enter the arbitration process for the first time, but… man. The guy has had an up-and-down career, but it’s evened out to a .250/.299/.469 line over 1850 plate appearances. He’s been liked by the defensive metrics at first base, where… he won’t play in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks already employ America’s First Baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. He’s not rated as highly in the outfield, and… so… sub-.300 on-base, OK defence, two genuine rotation pieces? I mean, Skaggs didn’t have a good year and some of the shine came off him as a prospect, while Santiago isn’t great, but that’s still pretty alright, I think.
Whatever we think of it, the move will certainly end up helping to shape this winter’s slow-developing market. Here’s what’s changed:
- The Angels look like their five-man rotation is set, adding the two new pieces today to an existing triumvirate of Jared Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and Garrett Richards. I’m sure it would still behoove them to search for depth, but probably not at the cost of losing another significant bat, which will make Howie Kendrick harder to extract.
- The other side of that, though, is that the Angels– though nobody took them too seriously as a potential destination in the first place, considering their already bloated payroll– are no longer competition for the starting pitching that the Jays seek.
- The White Sox, on the other hand, have less of that pitching to offer, now that they’ve dealt away Santiago. Ideas of a Chris Sale deal, given his age, contract, and skill was always really, really fanciful, and it seems even more so now.
- Conversely, though, the Diamondbacks appear set to jump into the free agent market for starters, now that they’ve dealt away Skaggs. Nick Piecoro tweets that the club’s GM, Kevin Towers, had said that he wanted to add a power bat and starter (a front-line starter, according to a Ken Rosenthal tweet), and that he’d like to do one through free agency and one by trade. He’s now halfway there.
- On the other hand, Piecoro notes that Arizona could still aim to accomplish that goal through trade, and while they’ve depleted some of their best trade chips by moving Eaton and Skaggs, he wonders if one of their shortstops could help accomplish that goal. Hmmm.
Probably not for a front-line starter, no, but he adds that Didi Gregorious went for Trevor Bauer at this point last year, which could maybe be a template for a deal to send him the other way. I still don’t think the Jays fit here. Gregorious was OK defensively, by the metrics, and his bat disappeared quite considerably in the second half after a hot start to 2013. He’s a right-handed bat and might look pretty nice in a platoon with Ryan Goins if he moved over to second, but that’s not exactly the kind of role you’re going to move a piece Arizona would actually want to move into their rotation for.
- Via the Twitter, an excellent point from @BVHJays as well, as he suggests that losing Skaggs probably removes Arizona from their pursuit of Jeff Samardzija, as well.
In other words, some possibilities we’d considered for the Jays have closed down, some have become more favourable for them, and other new ones have perhaps opened up. Now it’s all up to Alex Anthopoulos to just pull all the right strings.
So… there’s that.