Could the Athletics actually land Mark Trumbo?

Sep 30, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Mark Trumbo (45) hits a 2-run home run during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Mark Trumbo (45) hits a 2-run home run during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

The Oakland A’s are still on the market to add an impact bat to their lineup.

After missing out on slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who understandably chose the reigning American League Champion Cleveland Indians’ three-year, $60 million offer over the 2016 A.L. West fifth place finishing Oakland Athletics‘ offer of what is believed to be a two-year contract worth $50 million, the A’s are still looking for a big bat.

It makes perfect sense that they would be. The team could definitely use another big hitter to compliment slugger Khris Davis, who hit 42 long balls in 2016, in the batting order.

According to MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman, they’ve now reached out to Mark Trumbo. Trumbo knocked 47 balls out of the park for the Baltimore Orioles in 2016, leading the American League.

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The Orioles have been talking to Trumbo since the offseason started.

The team reportedly offered him a four-year deal somewhere around the $52 million dollar range. That offer is now reportedly off the table.

However, the Orioles have been down this road before, just last season actually, with another slugger named Chris Davis.

They pulled their initial offer when talks did not progress but ended up signing Davis anyway.

Either way, with the way the free agent market has been going with more supply than demand this season, the A’s apparently have the budget to sign Trumbo.

Four-years for $52 million seemed a bit low at first, but when you consider the contracts of Encarnacion and even Ian Desmond, who signed with the Colorado Rockies for five-years and $70 million, it doesn’t seem too far fetched that Trumbo could find a deal, potentially with Oakland, for approximately that same price.

On the plus side for Oakland Trumbo is a California native and doesn’t have a problem returning to the West Coast, which was reportedly one of Encarnacion’s hangups with the deal.

The A’s seem ready to spend the necessary money on a big bat and after the year Trumbo had in 2016, they most likely couldn’t do better out the remaining pool of free agent hitters.

Trumbo set career highs in 2016 in homers (47), RBI (108), slugging and OPS (.850). He made his second all-star appearance since 2012 when he was with the Los Angeles Angels.

His overall slashline of .256/.316/.533 was quite similar to his 2012 numbers but he hit 13 more home runs than he ever had before. His prior highest total coming while still with the Angels in 2013.

Oakland Athletics
Oct 4, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Mark Trumbo (45) celebrates with third base coach Bobby Dickerson (11) after hitting a two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning in the American League wild card playoff baseball game at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Oakland Athletics can’t land Trumbo, they do have other options available but they may not be as beneficial to the team. The A’s have a prominently left-handed lineup.

According to MLB Network the list of notable available free agent hitters is pretty long and mostly contains lefty bats. Names like Brandon Moss, Colby Rasmus, Pedro Alvarez, Adam Lind, Michael Saunders, Chase Utley and Luis Valbuena are among the network’s next best free agent hitters list, but they are all left-handed.

The list of right-handers was much shorter and contained names like Jose Bautista, who is increasingly looking as though he will return to Toronto, Chris Carter, Mike Napoli (but it appears he will end up back with Cleveland or with the Texas Rangers), and Mark Reynolds.

Trumbo’s right-handed power would go best in the Athletics’ 2017 lineup.

Let’s also not forget that the since Trumbo declined the qualifying offer extended to him by Baltimore, that whatever team that signs him will have to relinquish a top draft pick.

This can work very much in the Athletics’ favor. They have the number six pick in the 2017 amatuer draft which is protected and they would not have to give it up if they signed Trumbo.

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They also received a competitive balance pick, meaning, in a sense they have a free pick to give up.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The A’s obviously want a bat badly with the uncharacteristically large contract they offered to Encarnacion.

It’s likely they’d be willing to spend big money to sign Trumbo as well.

Trumbo is also said to be a big clubhouse leader, something the A’s have been missing a bit in the past few seasons.

The players have made that no secret and a guy like Trumbo could be a big help in that respect, which is a big part of the equation for a winning team.

The last part of the equation comes down to Trumbo, in a sense. Does he want to play for a team in the process of rebuilding, waiting for their young talented prospects to mature?

The A’s are a team that will either fall flat or do well. Trumbo would help them do the latter if they are able to actually sign him.

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