Continuing their search for a power-hitting corner outfielder, it appears as though the Arizona Diamondbacks may have shifted their focus towards acquiring Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels. Addressing this need seems to be the team’s top priority, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The D’backs have been linked loosely to Carlos Beltran (before he signed with the Yankees) and Yoenes Cespedes (who there have been mixed reports regarding his actual availability) in recent days.
Trumbo certainly fits the mold of the typical power-hitter, but he doesn’t come without plenty of question marks.
In a career high 159 games, Trumbo batted .234/.294/.453 this past season with 30 2B, 34 HR, and 100 RBI. He also struck out 184 times, a total he’s seen rise in each of the past three seasons, against just 54 walks. Trumbo can hit for power, but otherwise largely struggles to get on base. Furthermore, there are questions about how well he can truly handle a corner outfield role on a consistent basis. Over the past three seasons he’s bounced around the field a bit, but the majority of his playing time has actually come at first base (including 123 games this past season). The time he has seen in the outfield has been mostly split between left field and right. Neither would necessarily be considered a strong suit, but most metrics suggest that Trumbo is less detrimental when in left.
The Diamondbacks are no strangers to having bat-first options roaming a corner outfield position, but Trumbo is unlikely to be the best option that they could be targeting on the trade market. Keeping him at first base is simply not an option, as there’s no reason for the team to move Paul Goldschmidt to another position after his near-MVP season in 2013.
Arizona’s biggest trade chip to acquire a bat just might be their pitching depth. Nightengale (on Twitter) specifically suggests that Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy, and Wade Miley could all be potential options but there are also at least three other options with starting experience on their current roster (Josh Collmenter, Randall Delgado, Patrick Corbin). There are no specifics mentioned as to how a deal with the Angels may match up for Trumbo, but the D’backs will likely have options if they are serious about moving an arm for a bat.