The reeling Seattle Mariners, who’ve lost six of their last seven games and struggled to produce any kind of consistent offense, pulled off a six player swap with the Arizona Diamondbacks to acquire right-handed power hitter Mark Trumbo. They sent catcher Welington Castillo, reliever Dominic Leone, and two minor leaguers – SS Jack Reinheimer and OF Gabby Guerrero – to the Diamondbacks for Trumbo and pitcher Vidal Nuno.
Both Trumbo and Nuno are expected to join the Mariners for Thursday’s game. Trumbo, who has primarily played right field this season, can also play left field and first base. However, it appears he will initially be the Mariners’ DH, though GM Jack Zduriencik indicated he will probably be part of a rotation of corner outfielders. Nuno, who’s worked out of the bullpen for Arizona recently, actually was a starting pitcher in the minors for much of this season prior to being called up. He will replace Leone in the bullpen and he gives the Mariners another potential spot starter in what has been an injury plagued season for Mariners pitchers.
Trumbo’s Fantasy value takes a slight hit with the move to Seattle since he’ll be playing half his games at Safeco Field, which suppresses power to right-handed hitters. However, Trumbo hit 34 HRs (19 at home) during the 2013 season while playing for the Angels, whose home park also suppresses right-handed power. Trumbo has hit pretty well thus far with a .259/.299/.506 line and nine HRs, 23 runs and 23 RBIs in 184 PA. His Isolated Power (ISO) stands at .247 but the move to Safeco will likely see that creep down closer to his career mark of .219. Still, he should remain a solid source of power with an average right around the .230-.240 mark for the balance of 2015, after which he will become a free agent.
The real winner in this deal is Welington Castillo, who now gets to play for a team that desperately needs his services. The Diamondbacks have been making do with Jarrod Saltalamacchia as their catcher since the season-ending injury to Tuff Gosewisch. Castillo hits left-handed pitching well, though most of his power has come against right-handers. Saltalamacchia hits righties well and will now likely sit against left-handed pitching if the Diamondbacks go with a strict platoon. However, given Salty’s overall struggles at the plate this season, Castillo could become the primary catcher with Salty playing only a couple of games a week to give him a break. Either way, Castillo figures to pick up at least a little value in NL-only leagues. Whether his value will carry to deeper mixed leagues or two-catcher leagues will depend on how he’s deployed with Saltalamacchia. If ends up being the regular starter with Salty in a backup role, Castillo becomes a decent second catcher in two-catcher leagues and a deep mixed league option.
Another winner in this deal is Yasmani Tomas, who now figures to play more regularly, as he will likely split time between the outfield and third base. Regular playing time boosts his Fantasy value and makes him a must-own player in all formats. Jake Lamb will return from the disabled list shortly and figures to play third base against right-handed pitching with Tomas taking over vs. lefties. Tomas will play the outfield against right-handers. Ender Inciarte, David Peralta and A.J. Pollock will divide up the at-bats for centerfield and right field going forward with Trumbo now out of the picture. Pollack is the best of the lot but his value is unchanged in this deal. Both Inciarte and Peralta also see no real change in value, as their playing time will remain as is with just the slightest increase in at-bats.
Leone has struggled this season with an ERA of 6.35 in 11.1 innings of work. He will initially take Nuno’s slot in the bullpen but could be headed to the minors along with Reinheimer and Guerrero. Reinheimer is considered a solid SS prospect, and Guerrero (son of Vladimir Guerrero) was one of the better prospects in the Seattle system. Both will head to Double-A Mobile to continue their development.