Mariners Tidbit 46: The Trumbo Trade

Mariners get Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno from Arizona; they give up backup catcher Welington Castillo, reliever Dominic Leone, and two minor leaguers (who I’m REALLY hoping won’t come back to bite us in the ass in a few years).

Trumbo is a right handed power bat whose ideal position is probably DH; but, since the Mariners have about 57 guys who fit that mold, I should probably point out that he’s serviceable as a first baseman and less serviceable as a corner outfielder.  Where is he going to play primarily?  Your guess is as good as mine, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we see him in left on most days.  Although, one would think the team would AT LEAST do us the courtesy of having either Trumbo or Cruz DH and not have BOTH of them in the outfield at the same time.

Trumbo doesn’t walk much, hits for a low average, and strikes out a ton, so he should fit in with this team like a glove.  His low average is usually at least 30-70 points higher than what we’re getting out of the likes of Ackley or Weeks right now, so you’d have to anticipate at least a moderate uptick in scoring.  I’m not necessarily as Doom & Gloom about his defense as most, but there are certainly going to be plays he leaves out there on the field because he’s slow.  The key will be:  does his offense outweigh his poor defense?  As I don’t entirely buy the measures of defensive statistics we’ve got going right now, I’m going to say Trumbo is a net positive for this team until I see otherwise.

Vidal Nuno is a guy who can start, but has played his share of games in the bullpen as well.  He’s a lefty and apparently doesn’t throw super hard, but he should be able to eat up innings.  And, apparently he’s looked pretty good this year in a small sample.  Best part of all – if he turns out to be a quality Major Leaguer – is that we’ve got 5 years of team control over him.  So, pretty please, with sugar on top, be a good pitcher Nuno!

We lost a backup catcher in Castillo who was DEFINITELY an upgrade over Jesus Sucre (who figures to be the call up) and who I was interested in seeing in a bigger role with this team as Zunino continues to be a disaster at the plate.  Now, we’re back to Sucre playing once a fortnight and getting a collective dick in the ass out of our catcher position.  Maybe the Mariners will make a deal for yet another backup catcher; a girl can dream, can’t she?

We also lost a reliever I’m not super high on.  Leone was a rookie last year, and he was fine, but he wasn’t NEARLY as good as a lot of fans think he was.  This year, he’s regressed hard in the negative direction.  While I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him, I also don’t think he was going to turn it around in time to be useful for us this year.  Watch, in a couple years he’ll probably be closing games for the D-Backs.

The minor leaguers are prospects who are complete unknowns.  I’d rather not mention them because I don’t feel like tagging them, and because I don’t want to be reminded of this trade in the future when they’re both All Stars.

All in all, I like the trade and I like that the Mariners didn’t wait.  The offense is a joke NOW, they need help NOW, and Trumbo should help NOW.  He pushes Ackley to the bench and allows us to keep playing Seth Smith (again, so long as either Trumbo or Cruz are at the DH spot).  That’s win-win.

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