With the Angels mystery-teaming MLB again by coming from nowhere to sign Josh Hamilton, the Anaheim based team enters 2013 in a familiar position. Or crowded at a similar position. Once again, the Angels have a surplus of outfielders. After Mike Trout established himself among the games’ elite, he’s guaranteed himself a spot in the Angels outfield for the foreseeable future. Hamilton and his freshly inked 5 year, $125 million deal gets a spot too. That leaves one spot for Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo and Vernon Wells (who has been with the team for what feels like a decade now).
Before the surprise signing of Hamilton, the Angels seemed content to give Bourjos centerfield over Trout with Trumbo in right. Bourjos got squeezed out of a Trout-Trumbo-Torii Hunter outfield in 2012 after putting together a 4.5 fWAR season in 2011. To put that in perspective, Hamilton had a 4.4 fWAR in 2012 and finished fifth in AL MVP voting. Bourjos only received 195 plate appearances in 2012 managing a .220/.291/.315 line. Dealing Bourjos now would be selling low on him considering he’s Cameron Maybin as Dave Cameron of Fangraphs points out.
Yet, that is the Angels preference as if anyone from that organization is to be believed. And that’s if you believe Jeff Passan…
Angels are telling people they’re not trading Mark Trumbo. Obviously, that changes with right offer but more inclined to deal Peter Bourjos.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 15, 2012
Obviously, that changes as soon as they trade Trumbo. The Angels weren’t in on Albert Pujols last year or any position players this year. Trumbo could be as good as gone. As much as I’d like to see an all centerfielder outfield of Trout-Hamilton-Bourjos, Bourjos might get the better package than Trumbo.
Along with Trumbo’s mouth-watering power, he has questionable OBP skills and is a below average corner outfielder. Trumbo didn’t do his perceived value any favors by posting a .227/.271/.359 line in the second half of 2012. Whether it’s fair or not, that slash line is the lasting impression left by Trumbo for the 2012 season. Stats so poor you would question his spot on the team if Vernon Wells wasn’t also rostered.
But Trumbo’s massive .306/.358/.608 first half line also counts for last season and maybe the Angels think some of that is real. Trumbo has value as a power hitter under team control coming into his prime years but it might be unreasonable to think he’s going to over come those on base percentage issues as a soon-to-be 27-year-old.
Trumbo appears to be the odd man in right now but we’ve learned talk is indeed cheap. I think Bourjos is the better player but the Angels have to maximize value. Okay, maybe not “have to” but should. Or Jerry Dipoto could just go sign Nick Swisher and trade Trumbo and Bourjos. That’s why they call him Loco Jerry Dipoto. What’s that? Nobody calls him that? Noted.