D-backs trade Trumbo to Seattle for catcher, reliever, 2 prospects
PHOENIX — Once Yasmany Tomas started hitting, the Diamondbacks had too many players at third base and the outfield. It was a good problem, they liked to say, but it was going to be an even bigger issue to make it work when Jake Lamb returns from the disabled list.
The D-backs addressed it after Wednesday’s game, moving to break up their impending logjam by trading their most potent outfield bat, Mark Trumbo, to Seattle.
The D-backs will continue to have a five-man rotation for four positions, but the group will now include Lamb and Tomas at third base and A.J. Pollock, Ender Inciarte, David Peralta and Tomas in the outfield. Manager Chip Hale found enough at-bats with the first group, and he will be asked to do it again.
Arizona acquired catcher Welington Castillo, right-handed reliever Dominic Leone and minor leaguers Jack Reinheimer and Gabby Guerrero, the nephew of Vladimir Guerrero. The Mariners also received left-hander Vidal Nuno, who said the Mariners told him he will be in their starting rotation.
General Manager Dave Stewart said the impetus behind the move was the season-ending injury to catcher Tuffy Gosewisch last week while acknowledging something had to give with his excess of outfield talent.
"Lamb is going to be coming off the disabled list pretty soon, which is going to create more of a logjam for us," Stewart said. "With Yasmany swinging the bat as well as he is, it created a situation where we really needed to open up some space for him. Mark Trumbo, in my short period of time, is a player I had no interest in moving. He is one of my favorite players. It was a tough decision, but Seattle expressed interest in him and they repeatedly expressed interest in him. Sometimes you get to a point where the timing is just right."
Stewart said the teams had been in series talks for three days, with the Mariners not only looking to shore up their lineup but also add a starter to a rotation that recently lost left-hander James Paxton for an extended period. After signing Robinson Cano last year and Nelson Cruz this offseason, the Mariners are in more of a must-win mode this season.
Trumbo, 29, slashed .259/.299/.506 with 10 doubles, nine home runs and 23 RBI in 46 games with the D-backs, second on the team in homers to Paul Goldschmidt and tied with Pollock for third in RBI behind Goldschmidt and Peralta.
The D-backs will save money in the deal, inasmuch as Trumbo was making $6.9 million this season, but his contract is considered team-friendly for a power hitter and he has one more year of arbitration eligibility.
"I knew it was a possibility, so it is not something that catches me completely off guard," Trumbo said. "It’s a bit of a shock. You get comfortable somewhere and you develop a rapport. You have great teammates. If you are removed from that situation, it’s tough."
Asked if he saw it coming because of the glut at third and the outfield, Trumbo added: "There are a number of reasons, sure. You start to hear things and what not. You do your best to block it out, but if there are rumors of things happening, there is probably some ounce of truth to some of it at least."
On returning to the AL West, where he hit 95 homers in three years with the Los Angeles Angles from 2011-13, Trumbo said: "You hope that it would help big time, but I really don’t know."
Castillo was rumored as an offseason target after the D-backs traded Miguel Montero to the Chicago Cubs, but Stewart said the D-backs looked at Dioner Navarro but not at Castillo at the time. With Gosewisch lost for the season to knee surgery, Castillo joins Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate, a move Stewart said will free Jordan Pacheco to resume his expected role as handyman and right-handed bat off the bench.
Castillo, traded to the Mariners two weeks ago, was hitting .162 with two homers and seven RBI in limited time this season. He hit 13 homers and threw out 31.3 percent of potential base stealers in 2014. He is making $2.1 million this season and has two seasons of arbitration remaining.
Leone, who has been back and forth between Seattle and Triple-A Tacoma this season, owns a 6.35 ERA this year. He was 8-2 with a 2.17 ERA and 70 strikeouts as a rookie last season, when he led rookie relievers in victories, was second in strikeouts and was third in ERA.
D-backs special assistant Mike Russell saw Reinheimer, 22, and Guerrero, 21, play, and told Stewart Reinheimer is "our kind a guy." Reinheimer, a shortstop and fifth-round draft choice in 2013, was hitting .277 with 10 doubles, 16 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 48 games at Double-A Jackson.
Guerrero, an outfielder, entered the season as Seattle’s No. 7 prospect according to Baseball America, and he played in the 2014 Futures Game as a member of the World team. He was one of seven minor leaguers to hit .300 with 45 extra-base hits, 90 RBI and 90 runs while playing in the High-A California League last year. He is hitting .215 with two homers and 15 RBI at Jackson this season.
"The kid has big, big upside," Stewart said. "We believe he can play center field. You can never get away from those genes."