The Arizona Diamondbacks have a good problem
The Diamondbacks have a good problem. There is nowhere for recently-signed slugger Yasmany Tomas to play in a crowded outfield that consists of A.J. Pollock, Ender Inciarte, David Peralta and Mark Trumbo. Arizona spent $68.5 million to secure the 24-year-old Cuban’s services for the next six years then sent him to the minor leagues to work on his defense, hitting and because there was just no room for him at the major league level. Tomas did get called up a week ago as a pinch hitter off the bench, but will need regular at-bats in the minors to accomplish some of the goals Arizona has set out for him.
Just a few days ago, ESPN’s Jim Bowden wrote a column on the early look at the top 10 trade targets. He points out that Trumbo is better suited to be a first baseman or a designated hitter and that he could be moved to free up a spot for Tomas.
And that is something that just shouldn’t happen. No, we all understand that Trumbo is never going to win a gold glove in the outfield. That he is going to get pulled from just about every game in which the D-backs have a lead after seven innings so they can field a better defensive outfield. We know that some balls hit to right field are an adventure and you cross your fingers hoping he doesn’t turn a would-be single into an inside-the-park home run.
But with all that being said, Trumbo is a terrific power hitter and not someone Arizona should be thinking of dumping in order to find a spot for Tomas. And he is only 29 years old.
Unlike Tomas, Trumbo is established. You pretty much know what you are going to get from him. His last three year in Anaheim he hit 29, 32 and 34 home runs, respectively. He also drove in 282 runs in that period. Those are some gaudy numbers. Last year with Arizona he was leading the major leagues in home runs with seven after 22 games before he went on the disabled list with a broken foot. Look, Trumbo can rake and his power is protection in the lineup for Paul Goldschmidt.
In a full season, Trumbo has the potential to hit 30-plus home runs here and drive in 90-plus runs. And right now he is hitting .273, which isn’t too shabby for a power hitter. I understand the need to justify the money spent on Tomas and I understand the defensive liability Trumbo is in the outfield. But moving Trumbo to find room for Tomas is not the answer.