As soon as Jose Bautista signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, it became just a matter of time before the rest of the free agents began to fall. That process began Thursday, when one of the best remaining sluggers made his choice. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Mark Trumbo and the Baltimore Orioles are close to an agreement on a three-year contract worth under $40 million. Presumably, Bautista’s cheap contract set up the Orioles to sign Trumbo for that amount. The deal will be completed pending a physical.
Sources: Three-year deal between #Orioles, Trumbo expected to be under $40M. Two sides close to agreement.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 19, 2017
Mark Trumbo Re-signs with Baltimore
The 31-year-old right fielder has been in Major League Baseball since 2010, when he came up with the Los Angeles Angels. He bounced between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners after his time in with the Angels came to an end in 2013, and landed with the Orioles last season. While Trumbo has always displayed immense power, he never managed to keep his batting average high enough to be a true asset in a lineup. That, plus his insane strikeout rate, made him hard to keep around.
Last season, however, he seemed to find his home. Though he still struck out 170 times, Trumbo enjoyed, in many respects, the finest year of his career. He hit a respectable .256, while setting career-best marks in OPS (.849), slugging percentage (.533), home runs (47), RBI (108), and hits (157). He did go through a rough year defensively, but playing DH almost half the time helped mitigate the impact of that.
More importantly, the fans in Baltimore embraced Trumbo in a way his previous home crowds never really did. The Trumbomb became a highly anticipated and celebrated occurrence as the Orioles muscled their way into the playoffs. Without Trumbo and his booming bat, Baltimore could not have kept pace in the ultra-competitive American League East. With improved pitching and much the same lineup returning for the 2017 campaign, Trumbo and the Orioles will undoubtedly make some noise once again.