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MLB rumors: Mark Trumbo’s market shrinks as Ian Desmond signs with Rockies

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If you’re excited about, or dreading, a possible Orioles reunion with Mark Trumbo, that just became a bit more likely as Ian Desmond signed with the Rockies.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Baltimore Orioles
The way things are going, there may be a lot more of this next year.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest Orioles news to come out of this week’s Winter Meetings has been their apparent fascination with retaining slugger Mark Trumbo. While the O’s have been working on another will-they-or-won’t-they offseason saga, other teams are making moves that affect both Trumbo and the O’s. On Wednesday morning, the Rockies and Ian Desmond reached an agreement on a five year, $70 million contract.

This is of interest to the Orioles in two big ways. One is that, since Desmond was said to interest the O’s early in the offseason, it’s a guy they apparently liked off the board. The second is that the Rockies, who were rumored to be Trumbo suitors, are probably no longer in the Trumbo pursuit.

The Colorado team has, wisely or not, made their big expenditure. The Rockies already had a glut of outfielders even before signing Desmond, so Desmond looks to be their first baseman initially. Even if the Rockies have more money and interest in Trumbo, they don’t seem to have anywhere to put him.

It’s not a welcome development to Orioles fans who would like to see the team commit resources to actually fill one of the holes on the roster rather than bring back an expensive slugger who is much more luxury than need. The 47 home runs were great, though the .316 on-base percentage wasn’t.

And, my goodness, they’re not going to play Trumbo in right field if they re-sign him, are they? They can’t possibly do that to themselves or us again. The Orioles had the absolute worst outfield defense in all of MLB this past season.

Not all of that was Trumbo’s fault - Adam Jones in center and the revolving cast of left fielders also contributed equally to the failure - but the right field spot is the one the Orioles can try to fix this offseason.

Their chances of fixing it do not look so great if they’re fixated on Trumbo. Even if they don’t stick Trumbo out there again, the money they’re spending on Trumbo is money that won’t go to a real outfielder. I don’t want to think about this any more. I hope the Orioles don’t make me think about it, but I won’t be getting my hopes up.

One other consequence of the Rockies signing Desmond is that the Rockies will be surrendering the #11 draft pick in the 2017 draft. Under the old CBA, that was the highest draft pick that could be lost for signing a free agent.

That moves the O’s pick up to #22, and the compensation pick they would get if Trumbo signs elsewhere - which they regrettably seem to be determined not to receive - slides up to #30, for now.

Oh well. At least there was that rumor about the Mariners being interested in Trumbo, right? Yeah, about that...

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