Multiple execs around the game tell ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that they expect Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto to trade Mark Trumbo for a second time (Twitter link). Dipoto, formerly the Angels GM, sent Trumbo to Arizona in a trade that netted him Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs prior to the 2014 season and again inherited the first baseman upon taking over in Seattle. He’s targeted defense and on-base percentage in many of his early moves at the helm in Seattle, and Trumbo doesn’t necessarily fit with that type of philosophy. Trumbo projects to earn $9.1MM in 2016 and is a free agent following next offseason.
A few more notes from the division…
- The Angels announced a wave of front office hires today, including the previously reported addition of former Padres manager/former Angels pitching coach Bud Black as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler. Former Yankees scouting director Steve Martone has also been brought on as assistant GM (also previously reported but not official), and 27-year-old Jonathan Strangio has been promoted to AGM also. Strangio, a Harvard grad that joined the Angels as an intern in 2012, spent last season as the team’s manager of Major League operations. The Angels also promoted Bobby Scales from director of player development to special assistant; Justin Hollander from director of baseball ops to director of player personnel; and Mike LaCassa from assistant director of player development to director of minor league ops. The team also announced that A’s third base coach Mike Gallego has been hired as its new director of baseball development.
- Eppler tells MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez that Geovany Soto, who inked a one-year, $2.8MM contract with the Angels today, will compete with young backstop Carlos Perez for the team’s starting role behind the plate next spring (Twitter link). The situation could ultimately result in a timeshare more than a standard starter/backup alignment, Gonzalez notes.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com spoke to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow about his team’s upcoming arbitration decisions and was told that there are no budgetary constraints dictating whether or not the team will tender or non-tender any of its eight arb-eligible players. Nonetheless, McTaggart writes that one of Chris Carter, Luis Valbuena, Evan Gattis or Jason Castro is likely to be non-tendered, with Carter representing the likeliest option. With prospect A.J. Reed representing an affordable alternative, the team can probably afford to cut bait with Carter. Valbuena and Jed Lowrie are capable of handling first base in his stead if needed, McTaggart adds.
- The Houston Chronicle’s Evan Drellich breaks down the Astros‘ search for a reliever. While ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported recently that Houston is “hell-bent” on adding a closer, Luhnow said that’s not necessarily the case and he’s more “hell-bent” on improving the team by any avenue necessary. Of course, Luhnow isn’t likely to openly tip his hand about how strongly he wants a given asset, and Drellich points out that it makes sense to downplay this report in particular due to Luke Gregerson‘s status as a well-respected leader in the bullpen. Luhnow again noted that it’d be nice to add an arm that can throw 95 to 100 mph, stating that he likes the notion of being able to give plenty of “different looks” to opposing lineups, though he didn’t characterize the need to add to the ‘pen as any kind of top priority. Drellich writes that Houston would probably take Tony Sipp back on a two-year deal right now, but setup men like him — Sipp is arguably the market’s top lefty — tend to seek three years. The general expectation, though, seems to be that the Astros will add at least one relief arm (McTaggart noted that it’s likely in the above-linked piece as well). Luhnow told Drellich that for the time being, trade talks are more active than free-agent talks.