Multiple sources have confirmed that the much talked about trade of Mark Trumbo has been completed. The Angels will be sending Mark Trumbo and a player to be named later to Arizona in exchange for pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs and getting pitcher Hector Santiago from the White Sox, who joined in to make this a three-way deal.
As popular as Trumbo was amongst the fans, this is a big, big win for Jerry Dipoto, especially since it comes off the heels of the Freese-Bourjos trade which was not well received by the critics. What the Angels did here was solve a lot of their problems in one fell swoop and give themselves more options going forward to fine tune the roster. All it cost them was Trumbo, a player with great power but problematic on base skills.
If you look at Trumbo just by his WAR, he is basically a 2.5 WAR player, which makes him slightly above league average. In 224 career innings, Santiago has been worth 1.6 WAR. Skaggs is a rookie with a lot to prove, but Oliver projects for him to be worth 1.5 WAR this season. One league average hitter for two slightly below league average pitchers with upside is one heck of a steal.
The Angels did need to throw in a PTBNL to make it happen. That player is reportedly A.J. Schugel, who is a fringe prospect at best. This is hardly a great loss aside from the fact that Schugel is close to being big league ready. His inclusion doesn't affect the value the Angels reaped here.
What might actually be more valuable than either pitcher is the flexibility this creates. Both Skaggs and Santiago are pre-arbitration available this year while Trumbo was going to make about $4.7 million. They shed all that salary without bringing really any back. That gives the Angels the financial wiggle room to not have to trade Howie Kendrick and still have plenty of money to find cheap replacements for Trumbo at DH as well as make a serious run at Matt Garza or Masahiro Tanaka, a move that almost seems likely.
While the Angels are selling this as filling out their rotation, Santiago and Skaggs both have question marks. Santiago, who is just 26, is just a weird pitcher. He has a wide arsenal but his main offspeed pitch is actually the rarely seen screwball. In his career, he has struggled with command, walking 4.53 batters per nine innings, but he has managed to post a 3.41 ERA. That ERA seems pretty flukish though as his FIP is over a full run higher at 4.49. How much of that is luck and how much is skill remains to be seen. What inflates Santiago's peripherals is that he is an extreme flyball pitcher, so he should be vulnerable to the homer, but thus far it hasn't been a big problem. Moving from Chicago to Anaheim will only help him continue to beat the odds. Where there might be trouble is that Santiago saw his average fastball velocity drop off by 1.4 MPH last season. That velocity dip applied to all of his pitches, so that is a definite red flag. Regardless, Santiago succeeded with the reduced velocity last season, so he should still be a solid #4 starter if his velo doesn't continue to drop.
As for Skaggs, the former Angel prospect who was originally dealt for Dan Haren, he comes back home but with a little less shine on his prospect status. Some still see Skaggs as a potential #2, but the fact that he never really developed the velocity that many expected has hurt his stock. Still, he is armed with a nasty curveball and a serviceable changeup, so he should still be a solid bet to at least become a #3 or #4 starter as soon as this year. Seeing how he is only 22, there is plenty of time to still realize his upside.
In fact, he may well spend another season in the minors. That aforementioned flexibility the Angels got could prompt them to pursue more of a sure thing for the rotation. They have enough room under the luxury tax to make a run at Matt Garza or Masahiro Tanaka now. That could bump Skaggs to the minors to serve as an excellent insurance policy in case of injury or ineffectiveness from Santiago or Garrett Richards.
Replacing Mark Trumbo is something that Dipoto will have to work on now, but having accomplished his goal of getting young, controllable pitching to fill out the rotation, he has to be feeling pretty good. He'll be feeling even better if this move leads to even more improvements to the roster.
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And if and every player is an if season to season but if Pujols,Hamilton,Freese and Calhoun can perform to the best of their ability the lineup looks good...the last time the Angels had a big 3b with pop was.........? Troy Glaus and he was a huge part of bringing the ring in 2002...and as for no speed Aybar,Calhoun,Schuck,Kendrick oh and don't forget Mike Trout that's 4 guys with 15-50 SB's possibly now we gotta hope Mike lets the horses run wild!!! YES WE CAN IN 2014!!
Don't hate on this trade...Trumbo was very expendable..he will be looking at a big contract in a few years and Halos wouldn't have resigned him with Trout set to be the highest played player in history!! And no it does give us some flex ability to pursue more pitching and a DH..and don't forget Freese could be a 20-25 HR guy with Trout,Pujols and Hamilton in front or squeezed between...say what you may about losing 30HRs in Trumbo but if Freese hits 15-20 and Calhoun hits 10-15 and gets on base with SPEED it's an upgrade from a station to station hitter that may hit ya the 3run bomb one day and strike out 4 times the next 2??
Boy, I hope the PTBNL is Schugel, whom I hadn't heard of. The last trade the Angels made with a PTBNL that I can remember was the Dan Haren trade, and that player was... Tyler Skaggs.
This article forgets one thing. Actually, two things. First, if Hamilton and Pujols continue to under perform, the Angels offense just took a hit they can't afford to take. I don't care that fantasy geeks hate Trumbo's BA and OBP; the guy averages over 30 homers and gets 90- 100 rbi's a year. How do you replace that production if those two overpaid guys continue to struggle? Oh, and the second thing... DiPoto has not proven especially adept at picking pitching talent. This trade has some potential upside, but has potential for a disastrous downside. If things don't break just right, you're looking at yet another baseball-free October in Anaheim, if not a finish that has the team looking up at the Astros and everyone else in the AL West.
This team is full of holes. Team speed? Beyond Trout, there is none - Bourjos is gone, and with him went any chance of reviving the old take-no-prisoners style of aggressive offense that fueled the Angels to their only championship. Bullpen? Too many returnees from a horribly under performing bunch. Starting pitching? Way too many question marks. Then there's the issue of Hamilton and Pujols - the offense will live or die with these two, and their return to form is far from a sure thing.
I hope I'm wrong, but it looks like another long summer coming up for Angel fans.
@bginsc We can debate about how much Trumbo was worth offensively, but consider this. Were the Angels going to win if Pujols and Hamilton tanked again even with Trumbo? They had Trumbo last year and it didn't help. As for the team speed, did you forget about Kendrick and Aybar? I mean, the Halos are no longer speed-based, but they definitely still have some speed. So maybe just relax a little bit.