D’backs, Angels, White Sox agree to three-team Mark Trumbo deal

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3:00 p.m. EST update: A source told the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro that the deal is done. The Diamondbacks will get Trumbo and two players to be named, and they give outfielder Adam Eaton to the White Sox and left-hander Tyler Skaggs to the Angels. Left-hander Hector Santiago will go from Chicago to Anaheim.

Trumbo is expected to play left field for the Diamondbacks and could bat fourth or fifth behind Paul Goldschmidt. A.J. Pollock will serve as Arizona’s primary center fielder, with Gerardo Parra facing righties and Cody Ross starting against lefties in right field.

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register says that right-hander A.J. Schagel is one of the PTBNs going to Arizona. He had a 7.05 ERA in Triple-A last year and wasn’t protected on the Angels’ 40-man for the Rule 5 draft.

2:25 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi says the three-team trade is close to being finalized.

1:25 p.m. EST update: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez hears that the three-team deal is “getting pretty close” and that Howie Kendrick is not involved.

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ESPN.com’s Keith Law hears the White Sox are now part of the trade talks designed to send Mark Trumbo to Arizona, with the White Sox getting outfielder Adam Eaton and sending Hector Santiago to Anaheim.

Diamondbacks prospect Tyler Skaggs is also expected to go to the Angels in the trade.

Santiago, who went 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA in 23 starts and 11 relief appearances for the White Sox last season, would jump right into the Angels rotation while carrying only a minimum salary. With Trumbo’s approx. $5 million salary off the books, the Angels would then have the ability to pursue a more expensive free agent to join Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards. Skaggs would also be a rotation possibility, but probably not until after another month or two in Triple-A.

Eaton’s addition in Chicago would free up Alejandro De Aza for a trade, and he’d be pretty attractive in a market that just saw Nate McLouth and Rajai Davis land two-year deals in the $10 million range. De Aza hit .264/.323/.405 with 17 homers and 20 steals in 607 at-bats for the White Sox last season. He’s due about $4.5 million in arbitration and will be eligible for free agency for the first time after 2015. Eaton would probably be a downgrade in the short term, but he may offer better defense in center and he’s making the minimum for  a couple of more years.

It’s the Diamondbacks who would likely lose out in the deal if they sent both Skaggs and Eaton packing for Trumbo, even if they wouldn’t realize it while he’s hitting 35 homers next season. He just probably wouldn’t contribute much of anything besides the homers to their cause.

Update: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert is hearing that the Diamondbacks will also receive a pair of prospects if the deal is completed, which could even things up some.

Update 2: Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times says that while the White Sox have talked to the Angels about catcher Hank Conger this winter, he’s not believed to be in the current deal.

Washington Nationals roster and schedule for 2020

Nationals roster and schedule
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The 2020 season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Washington Nationals roster and schedule:

NATIONALS ROSTER (projected)

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Nationals roster to begin the season:

Catchers:

Yan Gomes
Kurt Suzuki

Infielders:

Eric Thames
Starlin Castro
Carter Kieboom
Trea Turner
Howie Kendrick
Asdrúbal Cabrera

Outfielders:

Juan Soto
Victor Robles
Adam Eaton
Michael Taylor
Andrew Stevenson

Starters:

Max Scherzer
Steven Strasburg
Patrick Corbin
Aníbal Sánchez
Austin Voth
Erick Fedde

Relievers:

Sean Doolittle
Daniel Hudson
Will Harris
Tanner Rainey
Wander Suero
Hunter Strickland
Roenis Elías


BREAKDOWN:

The Nationals shocked the world last year, recovering from an abysmal start to the season to win an NL Wild Card before cutting through the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Astros to win the first championship in franchise history. While the roster is largely unchanged, there is one gaping void: the loss of third baseman Anthony Rendon, who signed with the Angels. Rendon, a perennial MVP candidate, led the majors with 126 doubles and the NL with 44 doubles while smacking 34 homers with a 1.010 OPS last season. He’ll be replaced by the young Carter Kieboom and the veteran Kendrick and Cabrera. Those are some large shoes to fill.

With Rendon out of the picture, Juan Soto becomes the crux of the Nationals’ offense. Last year, he tied Rendon with 34 homers while knocking in 110 runs. He also, impressively, drew 108 walks, by far the highest on the team. The Nationals will likely have to utilize their speed even more. Last year, Soto stole 12 bases while Adam Eaton swiped 15, Victor Robles 28, and Trea Turner 35.

As was the case in 2019, the pitching will be how the Nationals punch their ticket to the postseason. Max Scherzer finished third in Cy Young balloting, his seventh consecutive top-five finish. The club retained Stephen Strasburg and brings back Patrick Corbin as well. There really isn’t a better 1-2-3 in the game. The rotation will be rounded out by Aníbal Sánchez and one of Austin Voth or Erick Fedde, though both are likely to see starts during the season.

The back of the bullpen is led by closer Sean Doolittle, who posted an uncharacteristically high — for him — 4.05 ERA last year. He still saved 29 games and averaged better than a strikeout per inning, so they’re in good hands. Daniel Hudson and Will Harris will work the seventh and eighth innings leading up to Doolittle.

As mentioned in the Braves preview, it’s tough to make any definitive statements about a 60-game season. Variance is going to have much more of an effect than it would in a 162-game season. Additionally, the NL East is highly competitive. It would be wrong to say with any degree of confidence that the Nationals will win the NL East. For example, the updated PECOTA standings from Baseball Prospectus only project a five-game difference between first and last place in the NL East. What we can say is that the Nationals will give everyone a run for their money in 2020.

NATIONALS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 23, 25-26: vs. Yankees
  • July 27-28: vs. Blue Jays
  • July 29-30: @ Blue Jays
  • July 31-August 2: @ Marlins
  • August 4-5: vs. Mets
  • August 7-9: vs. Orioles
  • August 10-13: @ Mets
  • August 14-16: @ Orioles
  • August 17-19: @ Braves
  • August 21-24: vs. Marlins
  • August 25-27: vs. Phillies
  • August 28-30: @ Red Sox
  • August 31-September 3: @ Phillies
  • September 4-6: @ Braves
  • September 7-8: vs. Rays
  • September 10-13: vs. Braves
  • September 15-16: @ Rays
  • September 18-20: @ Marlins
  • September 21-23: vs. Phillies
  • September 24-27: vs. Mets

The entire Nationals schedule can be seen here.