Can of Corncast: The fantasy impact of the Mark Trumbo trade
We all saw it go down: The Arizona Diamondbacks shipped Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno to Seattle for a below-average catcher, an underperforming reliever and a pair of prospects.
If you’re reading this article, your first question upon seeing the deal was, “How does this affect my fantasy team?”
To Seattle, this isn’t just the “Trumbo trade,” it’s also the deal that brings in a solid lefty reliever in Nuno, who can go two to three innings out of the pen and go five innings in a spot start as well.
Trumbo brings right-handed power to supplement the already incredible Nelson Cruz and will hopefully jump-start Robinson Cano’s average by having that extra protection in the lineup.
Who would think that a lineup that includes a run of Cano, Cruz, Kyle Seager and Trumbo could go two games and score only once. Well that happened in Trumbo’s first two games in Seattle and left Mariners fans scratching their heads over the deal that seemingly didn’t do anything to help their anemic offense.
In the long run, this should help guys like Cano, Cruz and Seager get a few more points on their OPS and a few more runs scored, but the Mariners have been confusingly terrible at scoring runs this season. General Manager Jack Zduriencik is hopeful the addition of Trumbo will help in producing some more run-scoring opportunities, but at this point in the Mariners’ season, capitalizing on those opportunities has been a rare occurrence.
For the Diamondbacks, some are saying it reeks of desperation to bring in another catcher, especially since that catcher is Welington Castillo, a former prospect who has failed completely at the plate at the major league level. If this is your major view of the trade, you are sorely misinformed.
The D-backs made this deal to normalize the positional logjam for Jake Lamb’s return to third base from the DL. Lamb was hitting .414 before he was injured, and with Yasmany Tomas playing excellently so far, they’ll want to keep his bat in the lineup. With Trumbo gone, that leaves opportunity for Tomas to play the outfield, DH in the AL parks and play some third base when Lamb needs a day of rest. You have A.J. Pollock, Ender Inciarte and David Peralta who all need regular outfield time as well, and hanging onto Trumbo when you want to develop those three plus Tomas seemed unnecessary. The power hitter’s departure allows for more flexibility for Chip Hale when writing out lineup cards.
The other major leaguer the Snakes got in return was Dominic Leone, an extra arm for the bullpen. Before I go any further, please note that he is not worthy of a spot on your fantasy roster whatsoever. I say that now, but things could change down the road; he was dominant for Seattle in 2014 with a 2.17 ERA and piled up 70 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. Since the turn of the calendar to 2015, however, he’s been awful with four losses in his last five outings, blowing up his season ERA from 3.86 to 8.03. He needs to be sent to Triple-A first if he wants to end up being an effective part of the D-backs bullpen and worthy of sitting on your fantasy team to pick up holds, if that’s your thing.