Shopping in LA: Matt Kemp or Mark Trumbo?

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Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Trumbo

This is a name that hasn’t popped up on too many hot stove lists yet, but according to David Schoenfeld at ESPN, the Angels should give some thought to trading away Trumbo to rescue their ailing defense.

I don’t necessarily subscribe to the idea that the Mariners are exceptionally weak at first base, but Trumbo offers some neat insights into how the Mariners could field a team next season. A flexible fielder, Trumbo spent the majority of his time at first last season, but he also saw a not-so-insignificant 27 games in the outfield and a further 17 as DH.

Trumbo is coming off of his third season with the Angles, and has carved out a niche for himself after Albert Pujols missed the second half of the season with a foot injury. With Pujols set to return, there is definitely an opportunity for Trumbo to be dealt soon.

As for the Mariners, Trumbo would slide well into a utility position, allowing Morales and Smoak to continue to get some playing time in if they need. Trumbo could also be used as a supplementary outfielder, and would factor well into platooning.

Trumbo comes with a much smaller price tag than Kemp too. Trumbo is arbitration elligible now, so expect his half-million dollar salary to jump significantly, but I seriously doubt it will match up to Kemp’s $20 Mill / season. Trumbo also comes with three more years of team control before he becomes a free agent in 2017. Which many are arguing makes him a very valuable trade target.

The Verdict:

Trumbo will be significantly cheaper than Kemp, so that’s always a plus. He doesn’t carry the same name recognition, but he certainly knows how to produce. In 2013 he hammered 34 HRs and 100 RBIs, each of those are higher than ANY 2013 Mariner.

Trumbo represents a cheaper alternative to Kemp, and I think he could have a very similar impact, offensively anyways.