Update: The three-team trade between the Angels, Diamondbacks, and White Sox has been completed, with Mark Trumbo heading to Arizona, and prospects shipping out both now and later.
After originally struggling to find what they wanted for Mark Trumbo in a trade, the Los Angeles Angels might be nearing a deal involving both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox, reports Keith Law of ESPN.
According to the rumors, the Angels would send Trumbo to the Diamondbacks and receive starting pitchers Hector Santiago (from the White Sox) and Tyler Skaggs (from the Diamondbacks). Arizona also would trade outfielder Adam Eaton to Chicago. Whether there is more to it than that is unknown, though it seems likely that the Diamondbacks will also receive more. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports Arizona will also receive a pair of top prospects.
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Talks are currently ongoing, but are only in the preliminary stages for now.
Earlier in the day, there had been rumors that the Diamondbacks and Angels were working on a deal centering around Skaggs. With a third team now in the mix, a trade appears closer than ever.
The Diamondbacks have been looking for a power-hitting corner outfielder in recent weeks and have been rumored to be in on free agent Nelson Cruz. They had also made a push for Carlos Beltran before he was swooped up by the Yankees. The Arizona current starting trio of Gerardo Parra, A.J. Pollock and Cody Ross are all excellent defensive players, but do not offer much with the bats.
Trumbo would fit the power role to a tee. He has launched 95 home runs over three full seasons in the major leagues, including a career-high 34 in 2013. It's not difficult to imagine him approaching 40 home runs next season. However, he does not offer much in the way of other talents. He is a mediocre defensive player at best and would need to play the outfield in Arizona with Paul Goldschmidt at first base. Trumbo also whiffs a lot and has gotten on base at just a .299 clip over his career. Still, power is becoming an increasingly rare commodity in baseball and Trumbo is still under control for three years.
The Angels, meanwhile, were hoping to shed some salary with Trumbo set to become much more expensive in his first year of arbitration eligibility. All offseason long they were hoping to acquire top young pitching, but until possibly now had struggled to find anyone willing to meet their asking price.
Skaggs and Santiago may be better than Los Angeles could have possibly hoped for. Skaggs is one of MLB's best pitching prospects and a top-10 prospect in all of baseball. He is also major league ready and can help the Angels immediately. Santiago, meanwhile, is still just 25 years old and is coming off a nice season in Chicago. Over 34 appearances (23 starts), he posted a 3.56 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, making him a potential nice addition to the back of the Angels rotation.
In return for Santiago, the White Sox would receive Eaton, who was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 73 prospect in all of baseball last year. A good defensive player, Eaton was also a proficient base stealer in the minor leagues while showing gap power and an incredible eye at the plate with a .450 OBP over four MiLB seasons. In 66 games with the Diamondbacks in 2013, the 25-year-old hit .252/.314/.360. Acquiring him could preclude another deal for the White Sox, who already have Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza and Avisail Garcia in the outfield.
This deal is far from done right now, but it appears the Angels are closer than ever to trading Mark Trumbo. All three teams will continue talks and attempt to decide on any additional players that will be involved. A deal could be complete or talks could break off completely any hour.