Quite a splash here for the early-June market …
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Mariners — who were just swept at home by the Yankees — have acquired slugger Mark Trumbo and left-hander Vidal Nuno from the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher Welington Castillo, right-hander Dominic Leone, middle infielder Jack Reinheimer, and outfielder Gabby Guerrero.
The six-player swap has been confirmed by the Diamondbacks, who needed to clear a spot in their outfield for Yasmany Tomas with third baseman Jake Lamb due back next week from a foot injury.
Trumbo adds some more power to a Mariners lineup that has greatly underperformed in 2015. The 29-year-old had registered a .506 slugging percentage with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 46 games this season for Arizona, though that has come alongside a weak .259 batting average and .299 on-base percentage.
Trumbo is a somewhat overrated player — the dingers can blind you — but it’s not like the Mariners gave up much to get him. Castillo was an expendable catcher and Leone has struggled mightily this year at the major league level. The two prospects in the deal — Reinheimer and Guerrero — are not of the top-100 variety. Of note, perhaps: Guerrero’s uncle is Vladimir Guerrero. Gabby has had a rough year at Double-A.
Trumbo is making $6.9 million this season and he’s arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2016.
The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.
There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.
Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.
In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.