Mark Trumbo Trade Opens Possibilities For Angels

by James Lumalu | Posted on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
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Trumbo

The Los Angeles Angels pulled a major coup by acquiring left handed pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago in a three-way trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox. With one swoop, General Manager Jerry Dipoto filled two voids in the Angels rotation.

With Tuesday’s acquisition, the Angels rotation currently stands as:

  1. Jered Weaver
  2. C.J. Wilson
  3. Garrett Richards
  4. Hector Santiago
  5. Tyler Skaggs

The Angels also signed pitchers Wade LeBlanc and Chris Volstad to minor league deals earlier this off-season for pitching depth.

Per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, the Angels will end up saving around $3MM and will still be $18MM under the competitive balance threshold. This is the result of Trumbo being arbitration eligible for the first time and being due for a substantial raise.

With Mark Trumbo out of the picture, the Angels suddenly have a need for a new designated hitter. Players like Corey Hart and Michael Morse become intriguing buy low options.

Hart, 31, missed all of the 2013 season after having surgeries on both knees but, when healthy, Hart is a very capable offensive player. He owns a career .215 ISO , .354 wOBA and 117 wRC+, all of which are well above average. Since he missed an entire season, a one-year deal with incentives might be enough to land him as he tries to rebuild his value for one more payday.

Morse, 31, dealt with injuries in 2013 and batted .215/.270/.381 in 88 games. He has a career .350 wOBA and 119 wRC+, and is just two years removed from his 31 homerun season with the Washington Nationals.

As far as potential in-house options, first baseman C.J. Cron is at the top of the list. The Angels drafted Cron out of the University of Utah with the 17th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Cron had a bit of a down year in AA Arkansas, batting .274 with 14 homeruns and 83 RBI in 134 games. He did show signs of life in the Arizona Fall League, hitting five homeruns with a .413/.467/.700 slash line in 20 games.

Pitching wise, the Angels are still in play for another starting pitcher.

While Santiago is a nice piece, it may be more beneficial for the Angels to use him in a swingman type of role that Jerome Williams once inhabited. Santiago went 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA in 2013. The peripherals are a little concerning as his xFIP was over a run higher at 4.65.

Matt Garza is one of the top arms still available and is the most intriguing to the Angels. Since Garza was traded midseason, he would not cost the Angels a draft pick to sign him. He went 10-6 with a 3.82 ERA for the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers in 2013. His peripherals match the performance, with a 3.73 xFIP and 3.60 SIERA.

There are some concerns as the amount of line drives he gave up jumped from 19.5% in 2012 to 23.2% in 2013. Also, his groundball percentage dropped almost nine percent, from 47.3% to 38.6%.

Even with those concerns, his fastball velocity has maintained around 93 MPH. Also, moving away from hitter friendly ballparks like Wrigley Field and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington should provide a boost.

The Angels suddenly have a lot more options than they did one day ago, and it will be interesting to see who they sign or trade to fill their remaining needs.

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James Lumalu
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Hi, I'm James . Follow James on Twitter @jameslumalu.







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