BALTIMORE, MD – On Thursday evening Orioles industry sources announced that the organization had reached an agreement with Mark Trumbo on a new contract. The new deal for the 2016 home run leader is worth $37.5 million over three years. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman was among the first to break the news.
Trumbo came to the Orioles on a one-year contract last season after spending the beginning of his career out west with the Angles, Diamondbacks and Mariners. Trumbo did not have his best season in 2016 in regards to his batting average, but he led the majors in home runs and drove in over 100 RBI for the second time in his career with 108. He also finished ’16 with a .316 on-base percentage.
Trumbo serves as a valuable asset to the Orioles, not only through his hitting, but his versatility in the lineup. Trumbo is a great fit as a designated hitter, but he can also start games either in the outfield or at first base. Orioles manager Buck Showalter loves players that can play multiple positions. When you have the ability to play both the infield and the outfield along with being a solid power bat, the Orioles are a great fit for Trumbo.
The Orioles clearly liked what they were able to get out of Trumbo in ’16, and were able to bring him back on a bargain. Trumbo’s agent, Scott Boras, was looking to get Trumbo a multi-year deal in the range of $70-$75 million. After realizing that the market did not perceive Trumbo’s worth to be that high, the decision was made to start negotiating with the Orioles again. Finally on Thursday, the talks got more intense and the three-year deal was reached.
After finishing in third place in the American League East and reaching the Wild Card game, the Orioles look to pick up right where they left off at the end of the 2016 season. Two weeks ago the Orioles dealt pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the Mariners for outfielder Seth Smith. With the addition of Smith and the return of Trumbo, the Orioles now have some depth in their corner outfield spots. Smith, Trumbo, Hyun-Soo Kim, Joey Rickard, and several others will battle for those roles.
With several options now at corner outfield, along with the Orioles not reaching out to Pedro Alvarez for a new contract, it is very possible that the Orioles could use Trumbo as a designated hitter more often. Last season Trumbo started 96 games in the outfield and 59 at DH, but those numbers could be reversed in 2017. It is no secret that Trumbo has started more games at first base or DH than the outfield in his career, and the Orioles might have better outfielders to play those corner spots. Now that the Orioles have resigned Trumbo at a bargain, they will probably not feel as pressured to play him in the field and might elect to slide him into the DH role regularly.
Mark Trumbo was a big part of the Orioles’ success in 2016, particularly on offense. After not being able to land a big-time deal in free agency, it made sense for Trumbo to return to Baltimore. He is a good clubhouse guy that seemed to fit right in after just one season with the Orioles. Playing home games at Camden Yards will bode well for Trumbo, who, like a lot of Orioles, is known for his ability to hit the long ball.