Mark Trumbo agrees to terms with Orioles on a three-year deal, keeping Orioles among baseball's top power teams.
Now that Mark Trumbo is on the verge of finalizing a three-year deal, the Orioles are in a position to have one of Major League Baseball's most powerful lineups for the foreseeable future.
Trumbo, who has agreed to terms on a three-year, $37.5 million deal pending a physical, is coming off his most productive offensive season and will be paired with two-time major league home run champ Chris Davis at least through the 2019 season.
The Orioles also return Adam Jones and young sluggers Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, while replacing power-hitting catcher Matt Wieters with free agent Welington Castillo.
The money saved in the catching switch and estimated $4 million saved when the Orioles traded pitcher Yovani Gallardo for outfielder Seth Smith had to made it easier to justify locking up Trumbo to what appears to be a pretty favorable deal for the club.
Trumbo's pending return seems to clarify the outfield/designated hitter situation and might have delayed the arrival of top offensive prospect Trey Mancini, who was considered a candidate for the Opening Day roster.
Mancini still could make the club, but there might not be enough at-bats to justify using his valuable early service time. Trumbo now projects as the primary DH and will end up with full-time at-bats by showing up at times in right field or at first base.
Smith figures to start in right field against right-handed pitching, which isn't going to leave much time for anybody else.
Though it appeared that the Orioles had dropped out of the bidding for Trumbo after making an initial multiyear offer, baseball operations chief Dan Duquette made it clear during the club's post-playoff news conference that the franchise would continue to put a premium on power at homer-friendly Oriole Park.
Trumbo had made it just as clear that he very much enjoyed his first year with the Orioles and was open to returning, though he turned down the team's one-year qualifying offer in November to pursue a multiyear deal.
If he can double down on last year's performance and Davis can bounce back from the nagging hand injury that made his 2016 season so uncomfortable, the Orioles will again be in position to challenge the major league single-season home run record.
Duquette apparently knows how to play the power-hitter market. Before the 2014 season, he stole Nelson Cruz, who went on to lead the majors in homers and lead the Orioles to the American League Championship Series.
Trumbo was a similar bargain, acquired from the Seattle Mariners last winter for reserve catcher Steve Clevenger.