Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has routinely downplayed a potential trade of Mark Trumbo so far this offseason, but things are heating up at the Winter Meetings in Orlando.
The Diamondbacks are in the market for a power bat this winter and made a strong run at Carlos Beltran before he agreed to a deal with the Yankees. Trumbo would obviously fit the bill, but the price tag would be substantial. Arizona does have starting pitching to deal, which is one obvious area of need for the Angels. Top prospect Archie Bradley isn’t going anywhere, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today speculated over the weekend that Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and Wade Miley could be on the table.
Trumbo, who turns 28 in January, has amassed 95 home runs over the past three seasons. Only Jay Bruce, Jose Bautista, Adrian Beltre, and Miguel Cabrera have more during the same timespan. His power has value, but he owns a .299 on-base percentage through 460 games in the majors.
UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that 12 teams are in the mix for Trumbo, with ESPN’s Jayson Stark naming the Royals as another potential fit. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times hears that the Angels are not interested in Skaggs for Trumbo, at least one-for-one-.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.
Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.
The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.
Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.
The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.
He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.