From Ken Rosenthal’s latest at FOXSports.com …
Andre Ethier a Diamondback? Miguel Montero a Dodger?
The teams recently discussed a trade involving those players, but the deal collapsed when the D-Backs’ ownership declined to give final approval, according to major-league sources.
The Dodgers would have sent Ethier, catcher Tim Federowicz, and money to Arizona for Montero and multiple lower-level prospects. But the majority owner of the Diamondbacks, Ken Kendrick, ruled against the trade because he likes Montero and was not comfortable trading him within the National League West.
The Diamondbacks are pretty set with corner outfielders — see: Mark Trumbo, David Peralta, and Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas — so the swap didn’t make a ton of sense on paper. But it’s disconcerting for an owner to step in so strongly on a baseball decision. Kendrick is known for being overly meddlesome at times.
After the Diamondbacks agreed to terms with Yasmany Tomas on a six-year, $68.5 million contract, there was immediate speculation that the club would consider trading slugger Mark Trumbo. However, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart made it quite clear on Friday that he plans on keeping Trumbo around:
Trumbo’s first year in Arizona didn’t go as planned, as he missed some time with a foot injury while batting just .235/.293/.415 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI over 88 games. Stewart would be selling low if he traded him now. The Diamondbacks still have a potential log jam in their outfield, but they are planning on giving Tomas an opportunity to win the starting third base job in the spring. Some have even suggested that Tomas should begin 2015 in the minors.
Stewart also indicated yesterday that he’s not shopping catcher Miguel Montero, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today hears that a deal is still possible if the right offer comes along.
In an appearance on MLB Network, Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart said that Mark Trumbo will serve as the team’s everyday right fielder next season, Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona reports.
Trumbo split his playing time between first base and left field this past season. He has logged 434 2/3 defensive innings in right field over his four-year career, including 143 innings there in 2013 with the Angels.
Trumbo missed 71 games on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his left foot. When he was in the D-Backs’ lineup, he hit .235/.293/.415 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI.
Via Magruder, Stewart also said he plans to have David Peralta and Ender Inciarte split time in left field.
What’s not to like about Mark Trumbo? He hit 34 home runs and knocked in 100 runs for the Angels in 2013 and would have likely come close to doing the same for the Diamondbacks this season if he hadn’t missed so much time with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Indeed, there’s plenty to like about Trumbo — if you stop right there. He’s slow, can only play first base or corner outfield (two of the least important positions on the diamond), and is a below-average outfielder according to both the stats and the scouts. All of those homers and RBIs are counterbalanced by deficiencies elsewhere.
Stewart, who — along with Tony La Russa, chief baseball officer of the Diamondbacks — recently expressed a desire for the team to adopt a more analytic attitude, sees a lot of potential in Trumbo. Via Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona:
“You have to like him,” Stewart said.
“You have to like the potential. This is a guy who has 30-plus home runs in two seasons. You have to like that kind of player. And he’s a young player, so we should not be the ones to miss out on his potential.”
Stewart also suggested moving Trumbo from left to right field:
“He’s playing left field, which is a difficult position to play,” Stewart said. “At some point, we may have to see if he is a better right fielder. If he is a better right fielder, that may give him peace of mind and comfort, which will make him a better hitter. We have to look at all possibilities to put our players in the best position we can to get the best we can out of them.”
The Diamondbacks acquired Trumbo last December in a three-team trade with the Angels and White Sox. The slugger earned $4.8 million and will be eligible for arbitration for the second of three years over the winter.
The Pirates lost to the Reds 10-6 on Saturday afternoon on Ramon Santiago’s tenth-inning walk-off grand slam. That meant that the Cardinals went into their evening match-up against the Diamondbacks with the ability to clinch the NL Central with a win.
The Cardinals were unable to take care of business. D-Backs first baseman Mark Trumbo did nearly all of the damage, homering twice and knocking in four, including a tie-breaking three-run jack in the seventh inning. The Cardinals mustered only two third-inning runs off of Wade Miley. As a result, the NL Central remains undecided going into the final day of the regular season.
If the Pirates win and the Cardinals lose on Sunday afternoon, they will tie with an 89-73 record and force a Game 163 tie-breaker to be played on Monday. Alternatively, either a Pirates loss or a Cardinals win will clinch the NL Central for the club from St. Louis.
Here’s what’s going on Sunday afternoon:
- Pirates @ Reds, 1:10 PM ET (Gerrit Cole vs. Johnny Cueto)
- Cardinals @ Diamondbacks, 4:10 PM ET (Adam Wainwright vs. Josh Collmenter)