DEC. 6: There’s still mutual interest between the two sides, so they’ll meet again today to try to get on the same page, tweets Olney.
DEC. 5, 2:55pm: Olney tweets the Orioles were comfortable in the four-year, $52-55MM range but backed off when Trumbo’s camp countered between $75-80MM. ESPN’s Jayson Stark hears a bit differently tweeting that the Orioles were only willing to offer three years and an option, however.
2:06pm: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter) that the Orioles don’t get the sense that they’re close in talks with Trumbo, and they could move on to other targets at this point.
12:54pm: The Orioles have extended a four-year offer to free-agent slugger Mark Trumbo, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (Twitter links). While the value of Baltimore’s offer isn’t known, the first baseman/outfielder is said to be seeking $80MM.
That price sounds like a non-starter for most organizations, and that likely includes the O’s. Per Kubatko, Trumbo’s side has already signaled a willingness to move down to the $70MM to $75MM range while also taking a backloaded salary structure. But that’s still arguably too much for the thirty-year-old slugger, who’s also said to be seeking a no-trade clause.
Kubatko notes that the O’s aren’t going to bite on the no-trade request, though it seems it’s still possible that the sides will work something out. It remains to be seen whether Baltimore will move up to Trumbo’s apparent asking price, or whether interest from other quarters will emerge at or near that level.
While Trumbo did lead all of baseball with 47 home runs in 2016, power is in abundant supply on this year’s free-agent market — particularly with Chris Carter now available. Carter, of course, was cut loose despite being arbitration-eligible at a projected $8.1MM arbitration salary. His .222/.321/.499 batting line wasn’t all that much less productive than Trumbo’s .256/.316/.533 slash, particularly once park effects are accounted for, and the two have rather similar lifetime numbers as well. It does seem that the O’s are at least somewhat comfortable playing Trumbo in the outfield, but it’s eminently arguable that neither player should be allowed to roam past the infield dirt.