The Los Angeles Angels Win Day Two of the Winter Meetings

Published: Dec 10, 2013 19:20pm EST
By Lance Rinker, Managing Editor for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Dec 10, 2013 @ 07:20pm EST


The Los Angeles Angels did something that they’ve been trying to do for months now, acquire young, cost-controlled pitchers. The way they did it was by taking advantage of a team that was desperate to overpay, in prospects, to acquire a player that would add substantial power to a weak lineup. That desperate team of course is the Arizona Diamondbacks and this trade makes little sense for them as they’ll have to play Mark Trumbo, a first baseman, out of position in a corner outfield slot, and the long-term value they gave up for him is substantial.

This trade really boils down to the Diamondbacks giving up Tyler Skaggs and Adam Eaton for Mark Trumbo, pitching prospect A.J. Schugel, and a PTBNL (likely outfielder Brandon Jacobs) from the Chicago White Sox.

From the Angels perspective this trade was a no-brainer as they were able to acquire two promising left-handed starters for Mark Trumbo and a fringe pitching prospect in A.J. Schugel.  While Trumbo has great power potential, his lack of on-base skills, rising strikeout rates, well below-average defense, and potential $4.7MM price tag through arbitration made him very expendable in the right deal.

Trumbo is your typical two-win, possibly two and a half win, player in the sense that he does one or two things really well (hit for doubles and hit for home runs) and drops off everywhere else. He’s not a lock to be much more than a slightly above average player who can hit home runs. Going to Arizona may even dampen his value a bit more considering he will be taking his down-the-rabbit-hole defense at first base into a corner outfield spot, although his offensive output may tick up a bit being in a more hitter-friendly home ball park.

Tyler Skaggs is a high-ceiling, lefty starter that is still considered one of the ten best prospects in baseball. He’s also just 22-years old and the Angels will greatly enjoy the six years of team control they have over him. He projects to be a one and a half win player this upcoming season and has the upside of a solid number two starter in a big-league rotation.

Hector Santiago is more of a wild-card in this deal for the Angels because he’s outperformed his FIP by a full run, 3.41 career ERA versus a 4.49 FIP, which indicates that he’s gotten a bit lucky over his 224 and two-thirds career innings thus far. That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be good, or continue to outperform his FIP, but he’s a fly ball pitcher with a bit of an odd arsenal – his main off-speed pitch is a screwball. However, pitching in a more pitcher friendly ball park such as the Angels is a benefit and he should slot in nicely as a back-end of the rotation starter for the foreseeable future.

The Angels managed to trade away a player that does just one thing really well offensively, offers no other meaningful value in other areas of the game, and was set to earn close to $4.7MM in exchange for two pitchers that will bring more value and meaningful contributions to the 2014 team and beyond for probably less than half of what Trumbo was set to earn.

Well done.

The Diamondbacks do not grade out so well with this move. They give up six years of team control over a starting pitching prospect, a left-handed one at that, that looks about ready to contribute at the major league level in 2014 in addition to a solid centerfielder, who is also more than ready to contribute at the major league level in 2014, for a player who is pretty one-dimensional and will only become more and more expensive to keep as he ventures towards free agency three years from now. The other two prospects they are getting back in this deal are fringe prospects, with A.J. Schugel likely settling into a bullpen role by the time it’s all said and done.

We saw the Seattle Mariners outbid themselves for Robinson Cano in their desperation to add a legit bat to their lineup, which was necessary, but in their haste they paid him nearly $30MM more than they had to.

Now we witness the Diamondbacks overpay in young players ready to contribute in the majors now to add some power to their lineup. They do realize that home run threats such as Kendrys Morales, Corey Hart, and even Mike Morse are still available on the free agent market – right? 


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Lance Rinker
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