On Wednesday, the Diamondbacks and Mariners agreed on a trade that sent first baseman/outfielder Mark Trumbo and pitcher Vidal Nuno to the Pacific Northwest, and catcher Welington Castillo, pitcher Dominic Leone, and two prospects (one of which is the nephew of former Major League star Vladimir Guerrero) were sent packing to the desert. What kind of impact does this have for the fantasy community?
We’ll start with the Mariners side of this. Trumbo has been one of the better home run hitters in the game since he became a full-time player in 2011 with the Angels. Since 2011, Trumbo has hit 118 HR (or as I like to call them, “Trumbo jacks” or “Trumbombs”), which is the 12th most in the Majors — and that is with only playing half the season last year due to injury. Playing his home games at Chase Field in Arizona was a great spot for Trumbo and his right-handed power, so the move to the pitcher friendly confines of Safeco Field in Seattle will curb his appeal a bit. Just look at Nelson Cruz and how playing at Safeco Field has suppressed his power numbers. Only 4 of Cruz’ 18 HR this season have come at home. Also, Trumbo moves from an offense that was the top run scoring team in the National League to an offense that is the 3rd lowest scoring in the Majors. So maybe his presence will help the players surrounding him like Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager, but Trumbo’s value also takes a little bit of a hit in this regard. Another fantasy loser from the Mariners side of the deal is Logan Morrison. Trumbo is slated to be the team’s first baseman and will also see time at DH, which will shift Morrison into a bench role, but Morrison was likely not on many fantasy rosters to begin with.
For the Diamondbacks, this trade cleared up a big logjam that they were about to have with the impending return of third baseman Jake Lamb from the DL. Lamb started the season very hot and the Diamondbacks are high on him and need a left-handed power bat like his in the middle of their lineup. While he has been on the DL, Yasmany Tomas has been seeing most of the time at third base and has been very impressive with his hitting skills to all fields, so the Diamondbacks didn’t want to lose his bat from the lineup. So once Lamb returns, Tomas will move from third base to the outfield (but should also see some time at third base) and be a part of an outfield rotation that also includes A.J. Pollock, Ender Inciarte, and David Peralta. Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale will continue to give all of these guys playing time as he mixes and matches based on matchups, so the good news here is that none of these Diamondbacks stand to lose any value.
From a non-fantasy baseball perspective, I like the trade for both sides as the Mariners look to infuse their lowly offense with some life. Trumbo is set to become a free agent after this season, but the Mariners are in a year where they were supposed to be legitimate AL West contenders after adding Cruz in the off-season, so it makes sense to make some sort of move like this one. And the Diamondbacks traded from a position of strength and surplus to clear up their third base and outfield situations, and they got a decent backup catcher and some prospects in the process — in exchange for a player that they probably weren’t going to be able to keep after this season anyway.
Let’s take a look at Thursday’s action now.