For the second year in a row, the Orioles negotiated a deal to keep the major league home run champion in Baltimore.
Mark Trumbo’s $37.5 million, three-year contract Friday was finalized Friday, a day after the sides reached agreement subject to a successful physical.
Last offseason, the Orioles signed free agent Chris Davis to a $161 million, seven-year contract after he led the big leagues with 47 home runs in 2015.
Trumbo also hit a major league-leading 47 homers last season, his first with Baltimore, before becoming a free agent. The 31-year-old did not accept the Orioles’ qualifying offer of a $17.2 million, one-year contract, wanting to test the market. Uncertain whether he would return, the Orioles acquired outfielder Seth Smith from Seattle earlier this month.
Trumbo’s less-than-stellar defense in the outfield was likely the most glaring reason why he didn’t receive a more lucrative contract. The slugger will likely be used at designated hitter in 2017 more often than as a two-way player.
He was the last unsigned player with draft-pick compensation attached.
Getting Trumbo back was a coup for the Orioles. With his big bat leading the way, Baltimore earned an AL wild-card berth last season. The Orioles lost to Toronto in 11 innings, even though Trumbo homered in his first postseason game.
Trumbo played in 159 games last season, batting .256 while setting career highs for home runs and RBIs (108). He had 157 hits, 51 walks and a .316 on-base percentage.
“We are happy that we were able to bring Mark Trumbo back to the Orioles,” said Dan Duquette, the team’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “We like his presence in our lineup and professional work ethic along with the elite power he brings to our ballpark.”
Obtained before last season from the Mariners, Trumbo has 178 homers and 517 RBIs over a seven-year big career with the Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle and Baltimore.
To make room for Trumbo on the 25-man roster, the Orioles designated outfielder Adam Walker for assignment. Walker was claimed off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers in December after spending five minor league seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization.