Early Tuesday morning, Buster Olney reported that the Los Angeles Angels would be willing to trade Mark Trumbo or Peter Bourjos in exchange for pitching. Angels beat writer Alden Gonzalez also includes infielders Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar as pieces the Halos would deal for pitching.
This is a road that the Mets have been down before and an actively debated one among Mets fans. While I’m not an advocate for trading any of the team’s valuable arms for anything short of a certified impact player, it is an issue worth bringing to the forefront again.
Peter Bourjos is a nice player, especially on defense but he is what he is and that’s a glorified fourth outfielder. The Mets essentially have a younger, more appealing version of Bourjos in Juan Lagares so there is no sense in pursuing that angle.
The player that has been on the Mets radar for some time is Mark Trumbo. Say what you want about his high strikeout rate and low on-base percentage but at the end of the day, Trumbo is a power hitting 1B/OF that would go a long way toward protecting David Wright in the lineup. It’s no secret that Wright’s best numbers were produced with the likes of Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd hitting behind him. It’s a scary thought but their golden boy isn’t getting any younger and the club cannot continue to wait around while David stands alone in the lineup.
Trumbo would fill two voids: a first baseman that provides an adequate glove (think Ike Davis) and a power-hitting clean-up man (think the opposite of Ike Davis). He is set to receive approximately $4.7 million in arbitration but this makes him an affordable option with three years of team control remaining.
The market has been fairly quiet for Trumbo throughout the Angels efforts to trade him. Teams are hesitant to meet the Angels demands for a player who consistently ranks among the leaders in strikeout percentage. Added to that, Trumbo finished behind only Pedro Alvarez with the second lowest BB% among the top-10 qualifiers in K%. As a result, the interest in Trumbo seems to be at an all-time low.
The Angels are far from an advantageous negotiating position with an excess of expensive hitters that haven’t met expectations and the league’s 24th best team ERA. Their roster suggests that they would seek an established MLB pitcher or at worst a pitcher that can contribute in 2014. That points toward Dillon Gee.
If the trade would be Trumbo for Gee straight-up or even Trumbo and Howie Kendrick for Gee and Rafael Montero, I would have to take a good, long look.
The Mets inevitably need to field a more legitimate lineup than the product on the field in recent years. Trumbo is capable of producing .240/.300/.475 with 30 home runs and 95 RBIs, which goes a long way toward shoring things up and protecting Wright in the middle of the order.
The Mets will eventually need to pull the trigger on some trades/signings because the answers are not all coming internally.