LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – At the completion of a three-way trade Tuesday afternoon, slugger Mark Trumbo was headed to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Angels had acquired young left-handers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago, and the Chicago White Sox had added center fielder Adam Eaton. The Diamondbacks also will receive two prospects, one each from the Angels and White Sox.
The trade is expected to be announced later Tuesday.
Limited by a payroll budget pushed by several large contracts, the Angels had sought a way around the rising cost of free-agent pitchers. They shopped Trumbo, who has hit at least 29 home runs in each of his three full seasons, and came away with two controllable pitchers scouts view as middle-of-the-rotation talents. Presumably, they will join Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards in a rotation that was at best erratic last season.
This is the second time Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has acquired Skaggs, who was 2-3 with a 5.12 ERA in seven starts for the Diamondbacks in 2013. In the summer of 2010, when Dipoto was GM of the Diamondbacks, he traded Dan Haren to the Angels for four players, including Skaggs. Because of a loss in velocity (along, of course, with the passage of three years), Skaggs is not the prospect he was then.
Santiago, 25, was 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA in 149 innings for the White Sox. He has the better stuff of the two pitchers the Angels acquired and is significant for being the only current major-league pitcher who throws a screwball. Twenty-three of his 34 appearances were starts.
The Angels used 11 different starters last season, including Tommy Hanson, whom Dipoto acquired from the Atlanta Braves for Jordan Walden. Hanson was non-tendered. Dipoto also signed Joe Blanton last winter. Blanton's ERA was 6.04 and it is unclear what his role would be in 2014. Jason Vargas, who came in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, signed with the Kansas City Royals.
Partly due to Dipoto's time in Arizona, the Diamondbacks had solid depth in starting pitchers. In Trumbo, they add a power bat to Paul Goldschmidt's. Goldschmidt hit 36 home runs last season to lead the club. Martin Prado, with 14, was second. Trumbo likely would play left field, with A.J. Pollock in center.
Eaton is a well-regarded outfield prospect for the Diamondbacks who lost most of last season to an elbow injury. The White Sox scored the fewest runs in the AL last season and sought an upgrade in center field and in the leadoff spot. Eaton will play between Dayan Viciedo in left and Avisail Garcia in right. The odd man out is Alejandro De Aza.
The Diamondbacks will receive 24-year-old right-hander A.J. Schugel from the Angels. He was 4-6 with a 7.05 ERA in 19 Triple-A starts last season, which was shortened by injuries.