If Mark Trumbo is Traded, How Much Does it Actually Hurt the Angels Offense
The Angels are careening into the Thanksgiving holiday, and they are taking everyone with them. two nights ago, Chuck Richter of Angels Win leaked a little nugget of info into the twittersphere about the Angels and how they were in trade talks with the Colorado Rockies. Ditto Scotty Allen of Monkey With A Halo. The big name that they were being told was on the table for the Angels was Mark Trumbo, but no names were surfacing from the Rockies side. MLB Trade Rumors had the story yesterday morning.
I suffer from a sleep issue thanks to years of working night shift. This news, obviously, did not help that issue. But, in the two days that have passed since the rumor officially started circulating, I have had time to think about and reflect upon what kind of offensive loss the Angels would actually suffer if they were to trade Trumbo for what I am assuming is pitching from the Rockies. If it is not pitching, then Jerry Dipoto is most likely doing donuts in the parking lot of the Big A with his arm out of his drivers side window and his middle finger up for all of us to see.
Back to Trumbo and the possible offensive loss.
After pouring through the stats, I have come to the conclusion that the loss of Trumbo to Colorado would have, actually, little to no effect on the Angels lineup. Don’t throw your tomatoes just yet. Hear me out. Much was said last season about the Angels and their shortcomings. Much was made of Mark Trumbo’s 34 home runs and 100 RBI. But, what about Mark’s performance relative to the Angels offense as a unit? Below are the Angels fWAR, wRC+, wOBA, SLG and OBP from 2013 along with where they ranked in Major League Baseball:
So long #Trumbomb? Maybe…
fWAR – 26.4 – seventh (God bless Mike Trout)
wRC+ – 108 – tied for third with the Oakland Athletics
wOBA – .325 – fourth
SLG – .414 – sixth
OBP – .329 – tied for fourth with the Tampa Bay Rays
For the season, Mark Trumbo posted an fWAR of 2.5. If you take that out of the Angels total fWAR for 2013, they go from seventh to 10th in baseball. But 10th still puts them ahead of the Cardinals, Pirates, Indians and Rangers. Trumbo posted a wRC+ of 106 which was sixth best on the Angels. his .323 wOBA was sixth best. His .453 SLG was third best and his .294 OBP was dead last among Angels starters who got at least 200 plate appearances.
There is absolutely value in the power that Mark Trumbo has, but his overall offensive game – by wRC+ – was only 2% better than Josh Hamilton in 2013 and 5% worse than Albert Pujols. Needless to say, the Angels offense does not live and die with the inclusion of Mark Trumbo. What does die a little bit if Trumbo gets traded, is small piece of fandom. We will also get to see him go bananas paying 81 games in Coors Field every year if this goes down, so, that would sting a little bit too.
I see a lot of people on Twitter saying that if Trumbo gets traded, the Angels offense will flounder. That, in my opinion, is simply not the case. Mark Trumbo is a one-dimensional hitter. Granted, that one dimension is hitting dingers, and dingers are totally sexy. But if you use wOBA and wRC+ as your barometer for offensive success, the Angels had an elite offense relative to their competition in 2013. If Mark Trumbo is not in the lineup, that offense is still elite. It is just up to Dipoto to not punt this and trade him for someone like Jorge de la Rosa.