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  1. While I understand that players with more power generally can increase their walk rates as pitchers shy away from giving them pitches in the middle of the strike zone if possible, I’d be skeptical about that applying to Trumbo in particular. At least one baseball researcher using Pitch F/X data calculates that Trumbo had easily the largest swing area of any 2011 MLB batter who say 1,000+ pitches:

    Comment by Detroit Michael — December 15, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

  2. What about Vernon Wells and cash for Frankie, and Braun or Hart moving to first base?

    Comment by Lbprguy — December 15, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  3. Carson – I have to be honest. When I saw your tweet, I just assumed this was a notgraphs post, and found this whole ordeal very nauseating and disappointing.

    Yours in Cavigilia,


    Comment by Bob Loblaw — December 15, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

  4. There would appear to be some merit in trying (especially) Hart at first, but I haven’t heard much talk about it, except for when I talk about it, to myself, over a glass of Marcus James Malbec.

    To make the Wells deal make sense for the Brewers, the Angels would have to send literally, like, $50 million. That’s so much money.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — December 15, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  5. If it makes you feel better, I was disgusted with myself the entire time I was writing this post.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — December 15, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  6. No way would I touch this deal. Basically one year of K-Rod for 5 years of Trumbo and the 2012 salaries are pretty much a wash?

    This only makes sense if you project regression for Trumbo where he falls below the threshold for a starting ML player. As a bench/role player then sure the deal might make sense.

    However, if Trumbo is slated to be a starting 1st baseman for the next 5 years (2 pre-arb and 3 arb) you are talking about a ton of surplus value for a free year of K-Rod (which is probably valued at $7m or so). That doesn’t sound all that fair.

    A much more plausible scenario from the Angels perspective would be to move Abreu. Either as a straight salary dump (Angels eat $5m) or as part of the K-Rod deal. Abreu could fill in while Braun is suspended (he’s terrible with the glove but he would be replacing Braun) and I’m sure he could do OK at 1B if Gamel doesn’t pan out.

    The fact is that the Angels really need to move TWO players from the pool of Trumbo / Abreu / Morales / Wells / Hunter / Trout. That’s 6 players for 3 positions (LF/RF/DH). Wells, Hunter, and Trout and probably not options. That leaves Morales, Trumbo and Abreu. Two need to go. Alternatively, you go trade Morales or Abreu and then one of Callaspo or Izturis if it turns out that Trumbo can play a passable 3rd base.

    Comment by BJ — December 15, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  7. You Brewers fans are funny.

    Comment by DD — December 15, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  8. Carson, why not trade for Morales?

    Comment by DD — December 15, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  9. Totally agree re: the likely value of Trumbo as cost-controlled player. At the same time, it appears as though the Angels don’t have a ton of leverage in negotiations: it’s clear to everyone they have a surplus at 1B/DH. That’ll likely affect the return on any trade.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — December 15, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  10. I don’t see Trumbo as an upgrade over Taylor Green and/or Matt Gamel. He probably has more power, but probably less on base ability. wOBA would probably be a wash.

    Comment by Nate — December 15, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  11. Jerry Dipoto and Arte Moreno have been adamant about bringing in personnel with a positive influence in the clubhouse. You gotta figure the Angels clubhouse as constructed right now is the perfect environment for youngsters like Trumbo, Bourjos, Trout and Conger to be in because they have guys like Hunter, Wells, Hawkins and more to lead them in the right direction.

    Speaking from a purely non-statistical standpoint, trading for K-Rod seems to be the opposite direction the Angels are striving for. Also, when you factor in Morales’ uncertainly, and Hunter’s exodus after this year and Trumbo’s versatility, there really isn’t a trade that’s needed. It will all clear itself up within a year anyway.

    Comment by Scottathan — December 15, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  12. Yah, I’d have to think Morales or Abreu makes a lot more sense. In particular, Abreu could play OF if needed while Braun is out and slide over to 1B if Gamel sucks there (or just plain slide over once Braun is back). It could also be a decent time for a buy low on Morales, if they’re willing to keep him for another year or so.

    I don’t see how it makes sense to have to go for the prospect-type in this sort of deal. If you’re the Brewers, don’t you want a more sure thing? You already have your scratch-ticket in hand with Gamel.

    Comment by B N — December 15, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  13. Angels do need to trade somebody, but dear god PLEASE don’t get K-rod back. I saw his highwire act far too many times towards the tail end of his Angels career. I wish to not see it anymore

    Comment by sausagemcbiscuit — December 15, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

  14. I like this better, having Abreu and KRod in a trade. I’m not confident in Trumbo being a 6 year cost controlled player, in that, I doubt he’s over arb all 3 years. He’ll probably get too expensive, given that arb values his skill set (power/rbi) vs. his weaknesses (defense/ob%). Unless he improves (which I’m not confident given his plate displicine), he is a non-tender candidate.

    Comment by Nate — December 15, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  15. I’m laughing at my own grammar. over = offered

    Comment by Nate — December 15, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  16. Carson,

    Your conclusions about Gamel seem to be based upon scattered big league playing time – most of which occurred in 2009. That seems like a rather narrow way to judge a player’s potential value. I’m not saying ignore it, but instead to also look at scouting reports, minor league production, and even MLE and predictive systems.

    28 HR and a .310 average at AAA Nashville last year aren’t bad numbers. Yet those aren’t mentioned. Nor anything else. Just his numbers for 194 plate appearances over the past four years. Bill James predicts an .818 OPS for 2012. The Minor League Equivalency Calculator at converts Gamel’s 2011 numbers into .772 OPS with 22 HR.

    Yet Gamel is listed as – ‘generously’ – a one win player in your book.

    Perhaps you know something about Gamel that hasn’t been shared. Or you have scouting reports your basing your claim on. Or you feel there is data that supports your claims. I wish you would have taken the time to explain your assessment of Gamel other than just present one statistic (a valuable one, without question, but not the only one).

    Finally, this trade ignores the Brewer lineup make up, which is already heavily right handed. If you lose Gamel and go with Trumbo, you only have one left handed regular – Nyjer Morgan. That doesn’t seem very wise.

    Thank you.

    Comment by matt — December 15, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  17. Why the hate for Mat Gamel? You are using a small sample for his MLB offensive numbers. His minor league numbers are great. Saying that he is probably worth less than 1 WAR is absurd.

    Comment by Dustin — December 15, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  18. And yet, they’ll have to pay it all to Wells anyway.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — December 15, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

  19. Well, sure, they have a surplus — but no one is forcing them to trade only with the Brewers. There are other teams with equally awkward problems at other spots on their rosters, who may be willing to give up something with more value (especially post-2012 value) than K-Rod.

    Comment by joser — December 15, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  20. It really all does come down to how you value Trumbo. As a rookie he produced decent numbers (sans his BB skills). Looking at different projections they are all baking in a modest level of improvement. Last year Trumbo was a 2.3 WAR player. Bill James is forecasting something closer to 2.5 – 2.7.

    As for his value during his arb years – I don’t see an issue. While arbitration tends to highly favor HR power, it also does look at BA, OBP, and RBIs. Those are all categories that I don’t think Trumbo will excel in unless he becomes more of a complete player.

    All in all you are looking at 2 WAR/season (at least) over the next 2 years while paying league minimum. That’s $20m in surplus value. If he were to follow a $4m/$6m/$8m arb schedule and still only produce 2 WAR/season that’s another $12m in surplus – bringing his total to $32m in positive value. Again, that assumes regression from his rookie season down to 2 WAR and keeps WAR valued at $5m.

    Personally, as an Angels fan I would:

    — Move Abreu (eating $5m of his salary)
    — Play Trumbo at 3rd (assumes he isn’t a total butcher)
    — Trade Callaspo (salary relief + return of prospects/bullpen arm)

    IF Morales is healthy you start Trout in AAA. Morales is your DH, Wells is in LF. If Morales isn’t healthy then Trout is called up and starts in LF while Wells DH’s. Trumbo is manning 3rd and Izturis is your super utility/3rd baseman with Trumbo. That configuration provides the best offense for the team.

    Comment by BJ — December 15, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  21. I have no idea why people think Trumbo wouldn’t be a butcher at 3rd. He played at 1st all throughout the minors, when teams tend to stick players at the hardest position they can handle.

    That is either a pipe dream solution to solve a logjam, or a nice experiment of how terrible a player can perform defensively at a position.

    Comment by todmod — December 15, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  22. Hahaha

    Gamel is “generously” a 1 WAR player, but Trumbo and his sub-.300 OBP is automatically league average?

    Please check their minor league numbers. This is a silly article.

    Comment by Bob — December 15, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  23. Ryan Braun is not moving to 1B in order to accommodate a Vernon Wells acquisition. lmao

    Comment by Bob — December 15, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  24. Gamel can hit. He got a bad rap in the Brewers system because he crossed swords with Don Money, minor league manager in the Brewers system.

    Hart has steadfastly rejected a move to first base.

    Comment by Harv — December 15, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  25. I like Gamel and think it’s time he gets a chance. When talking about Gamel, this article focuses 194 sparadic plate appearances spread out over 4 seasons. Yes, he hasn’t hit well in the majors but he hasn’t seen any consistent playing time and has barely been given a chance at the MLB level. He’s been blocked by Prince Fielder, a couple good seasons from Casey McGehe, and two managers resistant to playing rookies. But over 4 seasons at AAA he has hit .304/.376/.498/.873. I think it’s time for Gamel to get a chance. Sure, if we can trade Trumbo for K-Rod I’d do that, but it doesn’t seem realistic at all, so I really hope we wouldn’t go after some aging Abreu to block young talent who deserves a shot.

    Comment by Jimbo — December 15, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  26. K-Rod is a valuble asset,now that he has shown an ablity to setup,as well as close. Frankie belongs with the Angels, who shouldn’t have let him go in the first place.That being said, the Brewers pen has already been hit by the defections of Saito and Hawkins,and will need K to help Jon Axford. With all the money saved by letting Prince go, they can afford the extra depth in the pen. The obvious position for Pujols would be 3B,allowing Trumbo and,if he ever is healthy again, Morales covering 1st.

    Comment by Robert Thacher — December 15, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  27. Yeah I was going to add that I’m not convinced Trumbo would outproduce Gamel in the first place and I’d rather keep the LH player. The Brewers need the RP help too so while they are paying him too much it is probably better to just keep what they have.

    Comment by Ender — December 15, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

  28. knowing KRod’s “me-first” ways from following the Mets pretty closely, I have a hard time seeing a repeat engagement with the Angels.

    Comment by Seaver — December 16, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  29. What are you people smoking? A trade for that me-first prima donna for a very young stud who just got his taste of the big leagues and carried the Angels to second place finish with his timely hitting and hardnose effort (playing almost a month on a stress factor) is the ultimate in stupidity! What could have been his numbers been if he was completely healthy!

    Although, K-Rod as a setup man is better than K-Rod as a closer he is still an overpriced cancer! Let’s face it the Brewers management screwed up; because they thought they could get a high draft choice for him from some desperate team with more money than brains! It backfired, because he knew he could not get what he made on the open market what he will get in arbitration!

    So you Brewers fans want to take a proven hitter in the big league that was second in the AL Rookie of year and probably should have won it (no pitcher who pitches every five days should every win it over a position player that lead his team with HR and RBI’s) for a man who is definitely on the downside of his career! Then you have the temerity to say that a kid (Gemel) who did nothing in the big leagues but has phenomenal stats in the minors is better than Trumbo all I can say is B**L Sh*t!

    We Angels remember Brandon Wood! Great stats in the Minors and nothing at the big league level! Whose to say what kind of player this Gemel is but to say that he is better than Trumbo, one must ask again what are you smoking?????

    Comment by Craig — December 16, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  30. 1. Gamel not Gemel
    2. The Brewers can dump K Rod and owe him only 1/6th of his salary
    (arbitration salaries are not guaranteed). So the Brewers “miscalculation” was actually risking $2mm to possibly get free draft picks.

    Comment by Steve — December 17, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  31. Why would the Angels make this deal? Trumbo may well learn to walk. On a team of expensive players, he is one of the few who “came up for the money.” I would, “perhaps” “very” reluctantly trade him for some young inexpensive sure thing, if Kendrys can play (timing off?)and, if he can’t play third(not Bourjos). Personally, I would rather have a young starter or, third baseman and look elsewhere for relief. It seems to me, that deals to Cleveland or Brewers benefit them and not the Angels.

    Comment by Barbara Schriebman — December 31, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

  32. I would hold on to Morales and Abreu . Bobby is still a valuble player. They need players that can get on base in front of Albert. You can’t give up on Morales yet. He was too good before the injury. If he comes back 100 percent,that would be quite a one two punch. Calaspo gets on base and should lead off with Abreu batting 2nd. Trumbo should have some options left. If so, there is no reason to trade him. If they could get K for Trumbo, do it. K will be of much more value this yr. . What a shame, now, that they let Napoli get away. With Albert aboard,it is critical that the Halos bring home a title or two during the first three years. If that happens, Albert will have been worth ever penny regardless of a future decline. Another option for a proven closer at a much cheaper cost would be Francisco Cordero.

    Comment by Robert Thacher — January 26, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  33. You can’t argue with his numbers. Some relievers make it interesting.

    Comment by Robert Thacher — January 26, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  34. Angels fans need to think more about winning now,while Albert is still in his prime. Worry about low salaried players or prospects later.

    Comment by Robert Thacher — January 26, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  35. Vernon Wells!? You realize he makes like 25 million/year, is 33 years old and hit .218 last year, right?

    Comment by Scooter — February 14, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

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