The D'Backs gave up a lot for Mark Trumbo.
The completed deal for Trumbo involves the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox. It was first reported and then confirmed as complete by The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro. ESPN's Keith Law was the first to report the D'Backs talks with the Angels had expanded to include a third team.
The D'Backs gave up a lot to make the deal happen. Tyler Skaggs was supposed to be a key component of the D'Backs rotation moving forward but hit a bump last year in his road to the major leagues. Instead of giving newly installed pitching guru Dave Duncan an opportunity to work with the 22-year-old lefty this spring, the team included him as part of the package for Trumbo.
The other part of the team's package was traded to the White Sox in the form of Adam Eaton. It has to raise eyebrows that the organization soured so quickly on Eaton after making him sound like he was the spark-plug that the team had been missing going into last spring training. Only an injury kept Eaton from making he big club out of spring training, something that was lamented as part of the D'Backs struggles last season. Eaton struggled in his 250 at-bats last season, posting only a .314 OBP, but has shown great ability in the minors to get on base.
Getting back Trumbo will provide the D'Backs with home runs, runs batted in and a young, cost-controlled player. But, the D'Backs will be playing him out of position in the outfield where he has struggled in his career. Arizona has also traded much of their depth for a 27-year-old player with a .299 career OBP and a player who has shown that he might be the second coming of Mark Reynolds. The power will be there, but can Trumbo develop into a better hitter?
Now, two more young players have been dealt, continuing an alarming trend where the D'Backs seem to be displaying very little patience with struggling prospects, but they seem to continually give the benefit of the doubt to veterans like Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and Miguel Montero. Arizona has already dealt lefty prospect David Holmberg last week in order to facilitate moving Heath Bell and his contract out of town. MLB's Steve Gilbert reports that the D'Backs will be getting two prospects back in the deal.
Skaggs and Holmberg can be added to pitching prospects Jarrod Parker and Trevor Bauer as players the organization has given up on very quickly and dealt. The D'Backs seem to be struggling to develop young pitchers to be ready at the major league level immediately.
Top prospect Archie Bradley will have a tremendous amount of pressure on him to reverse this trend with the franchise. Bradley will need to be good from the start in order to live up to the hype and expectations that are likely to be added to him. It's a tough spot to put the young hurler in.
D'Backs general manager Kevin Towers clearly looks to be operating like a man trying to save his job while living up to his gunslinger reputation as someone who is constantly looking to make trades. This trade feels forced, like something that you do when you want to show that you are doing something. While having an open-minded general manager is good, having one that continues to display very little patience might not be the best thing for the long-term continuity of the franchise.
Trumbo might help the D'Backs in the immediate short-term, but it will likely be a minor improvement. The question now becomes: Will Towers be around long enough to see the deal payoff?