The A's need a right-handed bat. General manager David Forst admitted that last week when the club signed Rajai Davis. Slugger Mark Trumbo -- a right-handed bat -- needs a home with Spring Training looming.Perhaps that's why Trumbo to the A's would make so much sense.• Hot Stove trackerAfter making
The A's need a right-handed bat. General manager David Forst admitted that last week when the club signed Rajai Davis. Slugger Mark Trumbo -- a right-handed bat -- needs a home with Spring Training looming.
Perhaps that's why Trumbo to the A's would make so much sense.
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After making a run at Edwin Encarnacion last month, the A's clearly have some money and are willing to spend it on offense. Trumbo, who turns 31 this month, led the Majors in homers (47) and hit .256 with 108 RBIs in 2016.
The A's signed Matt Joyce in November and Davis last week, but they could make room for Trumbo, who could play right field or be the designated hitter. Pairing him with Khris Davis would give the A's the only pair of teammates that knocked at least 40 homers last year (Davis hit 42). Imagine that.
Of course, Trumbo isn't the perfect player. Far from it. He can be a liability in the outfield, and Oakland's defense is already suspect, though Rajai Davis should help. The A's were last in the American League in on-base percentage (.304), and Trumbo won't help much in that department (.316 in 2016).
Sure, Trumbo appears to be an all-or-nothing player, but that can be very valuable for a team that is desperate for power. The A's ranked 26th in slugging percentage (.395) and total bases (2,171), and 27th in RBIs (634). Trumbo can fill those weak spots.
Where the A's might want to be careful with Trumbo is how much money they commit to him. He wouldn't get Encarnacion money, obviously, but a one-year deal would make sense for a team like Oakland. He played for $9.15 million last season and doesn't have to break the bank in 2017.
The A's are in a tough division. The Rangers, who have won the American League West the last two years, aren't going anywhere, and the Astros have beefed up their offense to the point where they're likely to be the preseason favorites. The Mariners have made countless moves and are poised to contend after finishing second last season.
Oakland isn't ready to contend just yet, it appears. We get that. But adding Trumbo's bat to its lineup would cause headaches across the division, and the A's might have just enough firepower to surprise a few people.
So mark it down: Trumbo to the Bay Area.
Brian McTaggart has worked for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.