The AL West may not be the best division in baseball, but it could be the most interesting to watch at the trade deadline. At the bottom of the division, the Athletics could be one of the biggest sellers — or could still conceivably buy if they make a run. The Mariners have just declared themselves all-in (as if that needed emphasizing) by adding Mark Trumbo, while the Angels are in a similar boat and have both money and needs. And then there’s the Astros, who could take advantage of their surprising six-game lead by adding arms, and the streaking Rangers.
We’ll talk Texas later today on the podcast with Dallas Morning News beat reporter Evan Grant; for now, here’s the latest from the division:
- Adding Trumbo is something of a sign of desperation from the Mariners, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Some around the league think they got him for a nice price, says Rosenthal, but the club obviously has quite a deep hole to dig out of at this juncture.
- While the slugging Trumbo is obviously not going to provide good on-base numbers to a team that already lacks in that department, that doesn’t mean that the Mariners did not add productivity to their lineup, Dave Cameron writes at Fangraphs. Research shows that, for a team that is already filled with low-OBP/high-slugging bats, a similar player is actually more valuable than an equivalently productive but oppositely-skilled hitter. Meanwhile, Jeff Sullivan tackles the deal from all sides, explaining that the deal is not all that impactful for either club.
- Trumbo’s former club, the Angels, never seriously pursued a reunion, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. While the team could use a bat in left field, and the club would consider adding a truly impactful right-handed hitter, it prefers to add a lefty swinger to the middle of the order. All said, per Shaikin, the Halos felt they are better off waiting to see who else becomes available over the summer.
- There could be more Rangers prospects coming behind Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. He suggests that backstop Tomas Telis could get a call, particularly with Robinson Chirinos nursing a sore hand after being hit by a pitch. Fortunately, as Grant also reports, the 30-year-old seems to have avoided a DL stint (or worse). He’s off to a great start, hitting .208/.328/.465 in 124 plate appearances.
- Mariners lefty Mike Montgomery finally made his debut, putting up six quality innings, as Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Now 25, Montgomery was once considered a top-100 prospect with the Royals, though his star has faded in recent years. Since coming to Seattle in exchange for Erasmo Ramirez this spring, however, Montgomery has produced an encouraging 3.74 ERA over 53 Tripe-A innings while posting a strong 8.0 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 — all much better than he’s shown recently in the upper minors.