For the Baltimore Orioles the offseason thus far has been quite peaceful and relatively uneventful. The club signed a one-year deal with catcher Wellington Castillo last week and besides a few minor contracts, Rule 5 Draft choices and waiver claims, the Orioles look similar to last season.
That could change going forward. Since the start of the offseason, the Orioles have tried to retain the services of American League home run champion first baseman Mark Trumbo.
It has been reported by a number of sources, the team offered at some point during the past couple of weeks a deal of four years. However, it appears from rumors that have come from legitimate sources that the offer has been pulled by the club.
This does not mean that Baltimore is moving on without Trumbo. Negotiations with slugger Chris Davis during last year’s offseason took a somewhat similar path. Baltimore made Davis an offer, the offer was then pulled when there was not progress in contract talks, then they suddenly put the offer back out there and Davis eventually signed it.
That same thing might happen where Trumbo is concerned as well. The situation with Davis is a way for fans to remember that contract talks are not dead even though an offer has been pulled by a team.
It has been made very clear by the Orioles that Trumbo is wanted by the club and is an important part of the future if he opts to sign with them.
The likelihood is that Trumbo might see that the free agent market is loaded with players that are similar to him and he will agree to Baltimore’s terms.
Currently, Trumbo is amongst other big bats that play first base or DH and are free agents such as Chris Carter and Edwin Encarnacion. In addition, there are players such as Pedro Alvarez, Jose Bautista, Adam Lind, Mark Reynolds, Brandon Moss and Mike Napoli.
The truth is that there are too many first base/DHs to go around. Some of those that are free agents could find a home and still not see that many at bats during the season.
Baltimore realizes however that Trumbo is likely amongst the upper part of the class in those still available. Last season, the soon to be 31-year old, had a batting average of .256 with 47 homes runs, which led the AL and was a career high.
However, Trumbo’s overall value has been dragged down somewhat due to his poor defense, which is a reason that he was just a 1.6 WAR player in 2016 despite the high number of home runs he hit.