Mark Trumbo Trade: Fantasy Impact of Three-Team-Deal from Winter Meetings

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Big news out of Orlando today, as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, and Los Angeles Angels have completed a three-team trade, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

Now, unless otherwise noted, everything we write about is from a fantasy point of view. So, we don’t really care about whether a team overpaid, only whether or not the player will project to put up good stats in his new home. From that perspective, I don’t like this move.

I love it.

We’ll start with Mark Trumbo, one of the game’s most powerful hitters now going to a great hitter’s park in Chase Field. It’s easy to focus on his career .250 batting average, or the fact that he’s hit just a shade under .232 since the 2012 All-Star Game. That’s not what you want to say, but I’m not here to say that he should be a first-round pick or anything like that.

But this move is going to bolster his value. Why? Well, have a look at how Chase Field and Angel Stadium of Anaheim have compared in Park Factor HR value over the last five years. 

Park
2009 Rating (Rank)
2010 Rating (Rank)
2011 Rating (Rank)
2012 Rating (Rank)
2013 Rating (Rank)
Chase Field1.042 (14)1.063 (12)1.095 (10)1.192 (6)0.949 (16)
Angel Stadium of Anaheim1.220 (2)0.825 (23)0.789 (25)0.759 (25)0.902 (20)
Source: ESPN HR Factors: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

Not exactly sure what happened in 2009, but Arizona is a much better place for homers than Anaheim.

Despite playing half of his games in that cavernous yard, Trumbo has averaged 32 homers over his last three seasons. For his career, he has 95 bombs in 1,718 at-bats. Over a 600 at-bat season, that’s about a 33 home run pace. Now he’s going to a good hitter’s park and will get 9-10 road games per year at Coors Field. Trumbo is also in his late-20′s, which should be a hitter’s power prime. A leap to 40 or more home runs is not out of the question by any means.

Now, what about the pitchers going to the Angels, Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago? Let’s look at the same HR factors from earlier, but also throw US Cellular Field into the mix. 

Park
2009 Rating (Rank)
2010 Rating (Rank)
2011 Rating (Rank)
2012 Rating (Rank)
2013 Rating (Rank)
Chase Field1.042 (14)1.063 (12)1.095 (10)1.192 (6)0.949 (16)
Angel Stadium of Anaheim1.220 (2)0.825 (23)0.789 (25)0.759 (25)0.902 (20)
US Cellular Field1.193 (4)1.545 (1)1.230 (4)1.349 (4)1.185 (7)
Getting out of Arizona and the South Side of Chicago and going to Anaheim will put both of those pitchers in a better place to succeed.

Santiago needs to cut down on his walks to become a true full-time fantasy arm. That has contributed to a rather ugly 1.358 career WHIP more than the ballpark has. Still, he’s allowed more than one homer per nine innings, which is not a great rate. Still, Santiago has a 3.41 career ERA and is only 26. He’s a fast rising pitcher and is now in a place where success for pitchers will come a little easier. Watch his walk rates early in the year. If they’re down and he’s available, pounce.

Much of the same logic applies to Skaggs, though he’s only 22. He’s in a better place to succeed, but between the majors and minors, had a rough 2013 season. Even if he makes the Opening Day roster, this is still a guy who has a long way to go to be fantasy relevant. Still, once he makes that trek, he’ll have all of the same advantages that Skaggs had.

As for Adam Eaton, I’d guess that he will be on the roster come April. His fantasy value will depend on playing time, and in an outfield with Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza, and Avisail Garcia with Adam Dunn and even Paul Konerko at DH, at-bats won’t be easy to come by.

Still, Chicago is a good place to hit and while that’s not an easy group to crack, those aren’t exactly a quartet of Hall of Fame players. Someone could easily fall out of favor, or be moved at some point, making easy room for Eaton to get good at-bats, probably towards the top of the order.

Really, this is a big trade for all four guys, as it puts all of them in a good place to maximize their numbers. You’ll see it with Trumbo first, followed by Santiago. Skaggs and Eaton are both young and have a little more to prove. But when they become full-time MLB players, they’re now in a better place than they were before, which is what matters here.

Topics: Adam Eaton, Hector Santiago, Mark Trumbo, Trade, Tyler Skaggs

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