The Mariners could have made a lot of moves. I don’t really know that. I have no idea what is at the disposal of a big league team on a given day. A more accurate first line would have been “the Mariners made a move” but you’d have hated that too.
More accurately, the Mariners couldn’t have made a move that was more Mariners than trading for Mark Trumbo. He’s a guy with no real defensive position, or at best he’s a first baseman. He’s played outfield and some third base, but he’s really bad at both.
Amazingly however, I like this trade, as does seemingly much of the fan base, a consensus within which I’m usually not a part of.
Since becoming a regular in 2011, Trumbo has a higher HR/FB ratio than Mike Trout. He has a higher isolated power than Andrew McCutchen. He’s Nelson Cruz. I mean, he’s not the 2015 version of Nelson Cruz, but he’s what Nelson Cruz has been in every other year. Of course, Trumbo has played his last two years in a hitter’s park, but missed about half of 2014, and has really made his bones in Los Angeles of Anaheim.
And the cost for Trumbo was very little. He was Nelson Cruz at the right price. He was Nelson Cruz for basically the cost of two medium-leverage relievers. He literally cost the Mariners Welington Castillo and Dominic Leone. However, Castillo was acquired for Yoervis Medina in a trade that I didn’t like very much, and Leone is a short right-hander who has been demoted to Tacoma once already this year. The Mariners also gave up Gabby Guerrero and Jack Reinheimer.
Guerrero is a toolsy outfielder who is most touted for being related to Vladimir Guerrero. He was struggling in Double-A Jackson this season, and was far from a sure bet to be a big league regular. Reinheimer is considered and interesting shortstop prospect, but again one who isn’t considered a lock for a big league roster any time soon, or maybe at all.
Trumbo is awful defensively, but he’s not worse than Nelson Cruz, and this team seems hellbent on having a full time DH, and have given Rickie Weeks 11 games at the position already this year.
In the past I’ve been critical of the Mariners for not understanding the resources they had in their bullpen. However, a trade of two relievers for Mark Trumbo and Brandon Maurer for Seth Smith in the offseason, while I am in the growing mob of torch-carriers who want to burn all of Fernando Rodney’s errors, the Mariners have made brilliant use of the young relievers, banking on their present value to add bats, instead of riding their volatility to a fall.