During Spring Training the constant refrain here was 'why do we still have Trumbo,' which then became 'why is Trumbo playing so much?' It's not hard to see why fans wouldn't be enthused to see a subpar defender with only one or two offensive skills, and one that is almost a relic from another time.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Narrative: Trumbo has been pretty not bad. I'm not going to argue he's been an All-Star, but he hasn't been a total blackhole of production. In fact, I'd argue that by playing Trumbo the Diamondbacks have shown he has some value for the right team.
Who is that right team? Well, that's our aim here. We're going to look at a rundown of AL teams that have had worse production at the DH spot. Sure, there's scenarios we could construct where a team trades for him with the intention of throwing him into the outfield, but the obvious fit is as a designated hitter. I'm also not going to speculate what the return would be: any return is better than the return you thought would be had for him at the start of the season.
.266/.306/496, 6 HR, 115 wRC+, 0.3 fWAR
That's the slashline for Trumbo so far this season. Again, it's not great, but it's not terrible. He's struck out less this year than his career average (20.4% instead of 24.7%) but is also taking less walks. He's making more contact, and his BABIP is a little elevated over his career numbers (.301 instead of .285)
But he has put better numbers than the guys the following teams are running out. Without further ado, here's some possible trade partners:
Cleveland's been running out Nick Swisher as their main DH, and well, it hasn't been pretty. He's sitting at a pretty miserable 0.2 fWAR at the position. Carlos Santana has had limited time as DH and also has 0.2 fWAR, but after that it's a bunch of guys who all have a big fat 0. They need the Jumbo Trumbo.
Minnesota has split their DH responsibility between Kennys Vargas and Joe Mauer, and it hasn't been great. Combined they've got 0.3 fWAR. Trumbo would hit the Mark for them, I think.
Baltimore, what are you doing? 60% of their DH plate appearances have been for two guys, Jimmy Paredes and Delmon Young, who have combined for -0.2 fWAR. The Orioles need a less powerful version of Adam Dunn, and there's one in Arizona named Mark Trumbo just waiting for them.
What's old is new again, right? The City of Retirees has somehow seen a collective DH effort get 0 fWAR. CJ Cron has been their main guy, and their TJ Miller look-a-like has not been getting the job done. Sounds like they need a return of the Trumbolicious.
So there you have it, the 4 teams that need Mark Trumbo the most. When you think about it, every team except the D-backs need more Trumbo in their life, so we shouldn't limit ourselves, but these seems like the most likely.
Let's say he really does get moved, and that he goes to one of those teams listed above. What do you want in return?