Mark Trumbo: How Much Is A One Dimensional Player Worth

Mark Trumbo clearly fits into the mold of baseball being a game of power and home runs. He’s 6’5″ weighs 225 and can hit ’em as high and far as anyone. He’s out there in the free agent market now following a season in which he hit a career high 47 home runs. As a one dimensional player, teams are weighing whether or not to pay for the limited, but eye catching, production he can provide. The question will soon be answered in a way that may or may not be to the liking to Mark Trumbo.

When the Milwaukee Brewers turned their back on the National League’s home run leader Chris Carter, they sent a message out to baseball , and especially small market teams that says there’s a limit to what the cost of power should be. Because when they looked at Carter’s overall numbers that included a .222 batting average, they could not justify spending the money it would take to retain him.

Mark Trumbo: Numbers Reveal His Value

Mark Trumbo is the same kind of player. He did hit for a better average than Chris Carter (.256), but in more than 600 plate appearances he drew only 51 walks and had a dismal .303 on base percentage. One-third of his hits were home runs. He hit a home run once in every 14 at bats while striking out 1 out of 4 times he came to the plate.

And this was in a career year when he put up numbers that he had come close to only once before in 2013 when he hit 34 home runs while batting .234 for the Angels. So for teams looking at him for next season, they not only have to ask themselves how much those home runs are worth, but also can Mark Trumbo duplicate the power numbers again. Or, was this just a “one hit wonder” that we see in the music industry so often.

Last year, the Baltimore Orioles took a gamble on Mark Trumbo and hit the jackpot. They signed him for only one year and paid him, according to, $9,150,000 that most would consider reasonable given his length of service in the major leagues.

Mark Trumbo Wants As Much As Edwin Encarncion Was Offered

But that was then and this is now where is reporting that Mark Trumbo is looking for a four year deal that will pay him $80 million. Whew! The Indians and the Mariners are supposed to be in on the talks with the Trumbo camp, and even the Orioles are back in the picture.

With the possible exception of the Indians , who are pursuing Mike Napoli and would see Trumbo only as a Plan B if they can’t settle with Napoli, the deal makes little or no sense for the other two teams.

The Orioles already have a one dimensional player in Chris Davis at $161 million over seven years. So why would they want to extend another four year contract for a boatload of money to a carbon copy of Davis.

For the Mariners, right now, they have a platoon of Dan Vogelbach and Danny Valencia penciled in at first base. Danny Valencia can handle a bat and the Mariners just traded for him. And Dan Vogelbach is a promising rookie who just completed a AAA season with 23 home runs and 96 batted in.

Trumbo stumbles around in the outfield when asked to play there and he lumbers around the bases when he doesn’t hit a home run. So his place with any team will be very limited.

Maybe to put it all in perspective, consider that the Toronto Blue Jays offered a four or five dimensional player (Edwin Encarncion) a $80 million deal that was subsequently taken off the table by the Jays. Which makes Mark Trumbo, who is not anywhere near the talent and production of Encarncion stand out a little more….no?

Mark Trumbo: A Test Case For Baseball

So Mark Trumbo can hang out there until the sun goes down in the hope that there’s a team out there somewhere (that doesn’t play in Japan) that will take the bait and pay him at or close to the rate he is asking for. Or, the days will continue to wind down for him as we get closer to Spring Training and he’ll take a second look at things and be happy with another one (or at most two) year deal.

Because apparently, there is a limit to what teams are willing to pay for power alone. Or, at least you would think that should be true…..