Updated Dec 11, 2013 - 9:54 am
Mark Trumbo has weaknesses, but he's a good fit with the Diamondbacks
Sure, Mark Trumbo has holes in his swing and is not a good defensive outfielder. But how many major league players don't have any weaknesses? And please let's not compare him to former Diamondback Mark Reynolds. Trumbo may strike out a lot, but he is no Mark Reynolds. He has better at-bats and is a bigger threat in the lineup.
For starters, Trumbo has never struck out 200 times in a season, something Reynolds has done three times and came close one other year with 196. Also, in seven years in the big leagues Reynolds has accumulated 130 hits or more once. Trumbo in his three years in the big leagues has 136, 146 and 145 hits. Also Trumbo has never hit .198, .221, .221 or .220 like Reynolds had done in his past four seasons. The newly acquired Diamondback has hit .254, .268 and .234 in his three seasons. So please no Mark Reynolds comparisons. Trumbo is better.
Trumbo is a great teammate with big-time power. He lacks discipline at the plate like most power hitters do and can be a little streaky. But he can absolutely carry a team when he is hot, and he often gets hot. I'm sure there will be more than a few adventures in left field but I expect he will be adequate and if he hits 30 and 100 you live with the errors. One thing that may surprise fans and even D-back players is he has a cannon for an arm -- big-time arm strength.
In giving up Skaggs, Arizona again trades away a young, talented pitching prospect. They got burned in the past in dealing away Jarrod Parker and Max Scherzer who both blossomed into front of the rotation starting pitchers. Early indications are they were correct in dealing Trevor Bauer while he still had value. Time will tell on Skaggs but chances are he will be pretty good. I really liked him. He is a 6-foot-5, left-handed pitcher with a low to mid-90s fastball who is only going to get stronger and better. How good? Only time will tell. But if Arizona holds onto its top pitching prospect, which I expect they will in Archie Bradley, and Skaggs ends up being Scott Kazmir, who was a top prospect the Mets once dealt away, or just a decent middle of the rotation starter than this trade will be a good one. If he ends up being Steve Carlton whom the Cardinals once traded away it won't.
The trade gives Arizona a dynamic 1-2 punch in the lineup, protection for Paul Goldschmidt and a second right-handed power bat to deal with lefties Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-jin Ryu in Los Angeles. Arizona tried a 1-2 punch once before with Luis Gonzalez and Richie Sexson but injuries to Sexson derailed that. This one should be better.
As for Adam Eaton, who is on his way to the Chicago White Sox in the three-team trade, I spoke with a player who told me it's an addition by subtraction. Eaton was a selfish me-me type player, and the clubhouse will be thrilled he is gone. Didn't run out some ground balls, ran through stop signs and had a huge sense of entitlement for a player who was a rookie. A.J. Pollock will be a better fit in center field for Arizona.
Not sure what to think of the D-backs prospects coming back. Did check with some baseball scouts and heard that Brandon Jacobs is a physical left fielder with power, a swing and miss type who is limited defensively and could be compared to Marcus Thames. AJ Schugel is a low-end pitching prospect with good arm strength but lacks a wipeout pitch. It's nice to see Arizona -- even though they are giving up good prospects -- attempting to replenish the farm with minor leaguers. They will also get a prospect back in the Heath Bell deal. While I don't expect any of these prospects to have big impact on future Diamondbacks teams it adds depth to organization.
John Gambadoro, Co-host of Burns & Gambo