Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Report: Mark Trumbo willing to sign a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range

24 Comments

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo recently asked the Orioles for a three-year, $50 million contract. However, he later told the team he would be willing to take a three year deal for slightly less money in the $40-50 million range.

Back in November, Trumbo was reportedly not interested a four-year deal in the $52-55 million range from the Orioles. Though Trumbo has drawn interest from a handful of teams, his market has not developed the way he hoped it would. Along with the Orioles, the Rockies, Rangers, Athletics, Cardinals, and Mariners were in some way interested throughout the offseason.

Trumbo, 30, led the majors with 47 home runs while batting .256/.316/.533 and knocking in 108 runs over 667 plate appearances. Aside from the homers, however, Trumbo doesn’t offer much in the way of value as he’s a poor defender and base runner, and doesn’t play at premium positions such as shortstop or center field. As a result, Trumbo was only worth 1.6 Wins Above Replacement last season, according to Baseball Reference. Comparatively, an average player would put up about 2.0 WAR.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.