Dylan Bundy could bring Orioles an attractive return - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Dylan Bundy could bring Orioles an attractive return

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles have some attractive commodities if they choose to trade this offseason. Infielder Jonathan Villar, who could be traded before the December 2 deadline for offering 2020 contracts, is a possibility. Reliever Mychal Givens might fall into the same category.

The Orioles also have a starting pitcher who might interest other teams, Dylan Bundy.

Bundy was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft. Because of Tommy John surgery in 2013, Bundy didn’t make an impact on the team until 2016.

He started that season in the Orioles’ bullpen. Just after the All-Star break, he was moved to the starting rotation and was a revelation, pitching to a 10-6 record and a 4.02 ERA.

In 2017, he was a full-time starter and pitched well with a 13-9 record and 4.24 ERA, allowing just over eight hits per nine innings.

But 2018 was awful. Bundy led the major leagues in home runs allowed,, 41, just over two per nine innings. His ERA ballooned to 5.45 and his record was 8-16.

Although his 2019 statistics aren’t impressive, they showed improvement. Bundy’s record was 7-14 with a 4.79 ERA, but in a record year for home runs, he allowed 29, 1.6 per nine innings.

According to BaseballReference.com, Bundy’s WAR in 2019 was 2.3, just below the 2.7 measured in 2017. He measured higher in FanGraphs with a 2.5 WAR.

Because he fell just a third of an inning short of 162, Bundy isn’t measured in FanGraphs’ starting pitchers’ stats, but the 2.5 WAR equates to equal value with two accomplished postseason pitchers, St. Louis’ Miles Mikolas and Washington’s Anibal Sanchez.

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It puts him ahead of more renowned pitchers — the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright, Oakland’s Brett Anderson, Houston’s Wade Miley, Boston’s Rick Porcello and the Athletics’ Mike Fiers, each of whom won at least 13 games and pitched for better teams.

There would be a robust market for Bundy if the Orioles decided to trade him now. Bundy would have a better record on a more competitive team, and the Orioles would be justified in asking for an attractive package for him.

In 2019, Bundy’s percentage of groundballs induced increased to 41.5 percent, highest in his career. With an infield like the team had in its glory days, with J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, Bundy’s record would have been better than it was.

Bundy was given slightly more leeway in his starts than other Oriole pitchers by manager Brandon Hyde. He was the only pitcher to face a team’s leadoff hitter a fourth time but never got past 7 1/3 innings.

In his 30 starts, Bundy threw more than 100 pitches just five times and never struck out more than eight. During the season there was brief concern when his velocity dipped, but there was nothing to worry about.

Bundy, who has had three pitching coaches since he became an established big leaguer in 2016, adjusted well to Doug Brocail, who took over the job in 2019.

He allowed more than two home runs in a game just once, on April 11, when he gave up four to Oakland, and allowed only nine in 13 starts after the All-Star break.

According to MLBTradeRumors.com, Bundy could earn $5.7 million in arbitration, far below the $10.4 million Villar could expect.

Bundy has two more seasons before he can file for free agency, and those two years of club control and improving stats on a bad club would make him a prime target — if the Orioles are considering trading him now.

The attractiveness of the package could sway Executive Vice President/General Manager Mike Elias, but for now, the Orioles need Bundy.

With Bundy, a returning Alex Cobb and John Means anchoring the rotation, it would give some needed stability in the first half of 2020.

The Orioles aren’t likely to start the season with Keegan Akin or Dean Kremer in their rotation, and until Elias thinks they’re ready to contribute, they might need to keep Bundy for stability.

If they trade him this offseason, they’ll have a patchwork rotation, and one that would put undue pressure on their young relievers, Hunter Harvey and Dillon Tate.

The Orioles’ bullpen in 2019 was awful, compiling a 5.79 ERA. Better starting pitching would mean fewer innings for an unproven bullpen that could be without Givens, if he’s traded.

By the July 31 trading deadline, the Orioles’ rotation could include Akin and/or Kremer and conceivably other young starters. If Bundy continues his improvement in the first half of next season, the 27-year-old could bring an even better package of prospects in return.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. chico salmon

    November 18, 2019 at 8:08 am

    I would think you keep Bundy until at least the trade deadline in July, allowing Kremer and Akin further development. To me, this seems like an obvious move. You really don’t know what your getting with Cobb.

  2. deqalt

    November 18, 2019 at 9:03 am

    2020 Season doesn’t matter trade him now or in July whichever bring you more! July seems like a gamble that Bundy will have a nice 1st half of the season.

  3. Fareastern89

    November 18, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Chico’s argument re the development of Akin and Kremer is well taken. Also, teams are likely to be more desperate for pitching at mid-season once injuries take their toll. I can’t imagine any team overwhelming Elias with an offer for Bundy in the offseason.

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 18, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Jimminy Christmas … why don’t we just trade everybody currently on the 25 man roster for a bag of chips and forget even playing the big league schedule this year since nobody (besides a few of us) seems to give a dang about the team and it’s makeup until 2022-23? Trade Bundy? Please say it won’t happen.

    D’ya think maybe it’s karmic justice that had the Nats beating down the Stros this fall? They got what they deserve.

    So what’s next for the O’s? Tell me all you Tankers .. how low should we go? Should the team start banging trash cans in the clubhouse runway? Where’s the dignity?

    Losing because you’re not good is bad enough, but losing on purpose in just plain wrong. Tanking is just wrong. And continually selling your major league level talent for future chips, is Tanking. The Houston Blueprint sucks.

    Unless somebody offers you the next Frank Robinson, please keep Dylan Bundy.

    • deqalt

      November 18, 2019 at 10:33 am

      BINGO!!!!!!! If your not apart of the rebuilding no do not care. If your not trying to win as an organization why do I care about 2020? Its a joke. They will not get one dime from me until they are ready to compete for real

    • Bancells Moustache

      November 18, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      I think we have to accept that the “rebuild” is still a year off. Since Elias didn’t even get started til this time last year and is only now beginning to hire his own people, we are still in the “teardown”.

      Man this sucks.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        November 18, 2019 at 7:13 pm

        But honestly … didn’t the rebuild actually start with Duquette still at the helm? Who was it that made those trades of Manny & Co.? Elias simply took the reigns of a process that was already in motion.

        • Rich Dubroff

          November 18, 2019 at 7:24 pm

          It did, Ken, but it’s a long process. I think 2020 is the end of the beginning of it. It’s nearly done. Trading Bundy and Givens would probably be the final pieces of it. Not counting Villar because he was only expected to be a short-term piece.

  5. willmiranda

    November 18, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Two thoughts. First, is there a robust market for Bundy? Elias just spent a week checking out the market. Is he talking? Was he approached about Bundy by multiple teams? Second, it’s hard to compare today’s infielders with the “golden boys” because we don’t know what the latter would do playing in the shifts employed by the current club. Yes, they were superior fielders, but one reason was their superior positioning. And there was no little complaining about the positioning by current pitchers.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    November 18, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I have a difficult time seeing anyone giving up a decent prospect package for Dylan Bundy. He’s a mediocre arm on a bad team. Outside of people in Baltimore, who go through our annual “this is the year Dylan plays to his potential” dream each spring, Dylan is just another guy.

  7. NormOs

    November 18, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Trade Bundy, Givens, and Villier? WHEN DOES THE REBUILD START? IMHO you must have some kind of major league base to start a ‘REBUILD’. Minor leaguers, Rule 5’s, and waiver wire rejects, don’t constitute a “REBUILD”. Would it be to much to ask if the O’s could trade these guys and, heaven forbid, get real major league players in return?

    • ClayDal

      November 18, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      The base ( or at least hopefully the base) would would be Rutschman, Mountcastle, Hays, Grayson Rodriguez, Diaz, etc. Whoever they draft and sign internationally next June and July. The hoped for return for Bundy would be prospects with team control. Bundy and Givens only have 2 more years of control, Villar 1. Get what you can get for them now before they leave and you are empty handed

  8. cb

    November 18, 2019 at 11:13 am

    I’m guessing the Orioles would get something similar for Bundy to what they got for Cashner in a trade.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 18, 2019 at 11:23 am

      No. The Red Sox were only getting 2 1/2 months of Cashner. If they traded him this winter, two years of club control.

    • Birdman

      November 18, 2019 at 11:28 am

      Yes Rich, Bundy should bring significantly more in a trade than Cashner. Bundy’s much younger (27) than Cashner, and he still has two more years of club control. If all they can get is a couple of 17 year old kids, hold on to Bundy.

      Hopefully, the motivation to possibly trade Bundy is not a salary dump?

      • Rich Dubroff

        November 18, 2019 at 12:01 pm

        No, Bundy doesn’t fall into the same category as Villar. The Orioles aren’t going to extend him, and they need more talent in the organization, and trading him could bring more in. I’m a big fan of his, professionally and personally.

  9. DevoTion

    November 18, 2019 at 11:29 am

    To me he is just an innings eater. There’s tons of guys out there similar to him. I wouldn’t give up any prospects when there are similar pitchers on the free agent market that can be signed for short fairly cheap contract

  10. Orial

    November 18, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Agree Bundy could bring in a decent package,agree that it’s all about timing(do it now or wait for younger player developement) but there comes a point with sagging attendence and a WS champ 40 miles away that you have to start thinking about the “near” future and not the “distant” future. I for one would like to see a rotation of Bundy,Cobb,Means work it’s potential magic and stop caving in every year. 16,000 a game could quickly become 12,000 a game.

  11. whiterose

    November 18, 2019 at 11:49 am

    We all know that if traded Bundy would win CyYoung

  12. Lookouts400

    November 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Like with anyone, it all depends on the return.

  13. WorldlyView

    November 19, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Bundy Schmundy: Quoting from today’s Bleacher Report posting concerning the O’s: “The pitching staff needs an entire overhaul for this team to approach respectability, and attracting even second- and third-tier arms will be a challenge.”

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