BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' 2017 lineup got a whole lot better on Friday morning, as Baltimore made official the re-signing of outfielder Mark Trumbo to a three-year contract.The move was a shrewd one for executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who gambled on waiting on Trumbo and his
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' 2017 lineup got a whole lot better on Friday morning, as Baltimore made official the re-signing of outfielder Mark Trumbo to a three-year contract.
The move was a shrewd one for executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who gambled on waiting on Trumbo and his market, and the slugger who hit a Major League Baseball-best 47 homers last year will now return to the O's.
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"We are happy that we were able to bring Mark Trumbo back to the Orioles," Duquette said in a statement. "We like his presence in our lineup and professional work ethic, along with the elite power he brings to our ballpark."
The O's, who designated Adam Walker for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster, were interested in Trumbo all along -- though they were wary to commit big money, while other teams were evidently hesitant to surrender a Draft pick to sign him. Signing Trumbo for around $37 million looks, on paper at least, to be a solid deal for Baltimore, and one that should keep its offense as one of the most touted in the American League.
The 31-year-old Trumbo, named to the AL All-Star team in 2016, tied for the fourth-highest single-season home run total in Orioles history. He set career highs in hits (157), extra-base hits (75), home runs, RBIs (108), runs scored (94), slugging percentage (.533), OPS (.850) and outfield assists (10).
Acquired by Duquette in a trade with Seattle last offseason, Trumbo also homered in his first career postseason game as the designated hitter in the AL Wild Card Game at Toronto.
Ideally, Trumbo would see the bulk of his time at DH, though he could play some right field again. Upgrading the outfield defense was a priority for the O's this offseason and, to that end, they traded for Seth Smith on Jan. 6. Trumbo has always been ranked as a below-average defender, though manager Buck Showalter has preferred having some flexibility out of that DH spot.
Over a seven-year Major League career, Trumbo has batted .251/.303/.473 with 178 home runs and 517 RBIs over 849 games. Originally selected by the Angels in the 18th round of the 2004 Draft, Trumbo played four seasons in Anaheim (2010-13) and also has spent time with the D-backs (2014-15) and Mariners ('15).
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With a career-high 43.1 percent fly-ball rate and the Majors' fifth-best average exit velocity (95 mph), according to Statcast™, Trumbo led the big leagues with 47 long balls and made a major fantasy impact last season. Looking ahead to 2017, the slugger should continue to benefit from Baltimore's hitter-friendly venue and can be penciled in for nearly 40 homers and 100 RBIs -- even if he experiences some regressed batted-ball fortune (career-high 24.6 HR/FB rate in '16).
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.