UPDATE: It appears that things have headed downhill in negotiations, as ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted earlier this afternoon that the Orioles don’t believe they’re close in negotiations, and that they could move on to other targets.
Sources: Orioles perceive they are not close in talks with Mark Trumbo, and are prepared to move on to other options.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2016
In the first bit of news we’ve heard out of Baltimore this offseason, a tweet from Roch Kutbako of MASNsports.com states that he’s heard the Orioles have offered slugger Mark Trumbo a four-year contract. The monetary value of the deal is currently unknown, but Trumbo’s camp is said to be looking for at least $80 million.
Have heard #orioles made 4-year offer to OF Mark Trumbo. His side looking for $80 mil. But showed flexibility to $70-$75 mil backloaded.
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 5, 2016
Kutbatko also notes in a follow-up tweet that Trumbo was looking for a full no-trade clause, although the O’s were not willing to go there, at the current moment. They could always find a middle ground of some sort, but it doesn’t sound like a full no-trade is on the table.
Trumbo, 30, had the best season of his major league career in 2016, holding a .256/.316/.533 batting line with a league-high 47 home runs and 108 RBIs in 667 plate appearances. Last season marked the first time Trumbo has surpassed the 30 homer threshold, since the Los Angeles Angeles traded him in the offseason of 2013. After a season-plus in Arizona, Trumbo was shipped to Seattle in 2015. He finished the year as a Mariner, and was then traded to Baltimore for Steve Clevenger last offseason.
While Trumbo wasn’t particularly efficent defensively in the outfield last season, committing six errors, he certainly wasn’t the worst outfielder in the world. Given Baltimore’s willingness to offer Trumbo a long-term deal, it would seem reasonable to believe that they wouldn’t mind having Trumbo man right field in 2017, a spot where he saw 95 starts in 2016.
Baltimore has a history of being able to secure their power-hitters, as they did with Chris Davis last season, despite rumors that he could depart for a team like the St.Louis Cardinals. Interestingly enough, Trumbo has at least one other suitor that we know of, and that team is the Colorado Rockies.
As the offseason progresses, more teams are sure to express interest in the right-handed slugger. It’ll be interesting to see if the pursuit of Trumbo’s services becomes a bidding war, and if so, just how high will Baltimore be willing to go?