Dylan Bundy heads to the Angels for a fresh start; Orioles sign Herrera to minor league contract - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Dylan Bundy heads to the Angels for a fresh start; Orioles sign Herrera to minor league contract

Dylan Bundy, who was traded Wednesday to the Los Angeles Angels for four right-handed pitching prospects, never turned out to be the star pitcher the Orioles envisioned when he was the fourth overall draft pick in 2011.

At the time, the Orioles were accumulating a boatload of young talent. They had drafted Nick Markakis, Zack Britton, Matt Wieters and Manny Machado, and had made shrewd deals for J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Chris Tillman.

Bundy, who was an acclaimed high school pitcher, was added to the mix, and manager Buck Showalter was excited by the thought of Bundy in his rotation.

Bundy signed in August, too late to pitch in 2011, but he was fast-tracked to the majors. At 19, Bundy dominated South Atlantic League hitters in Delmarva and moved quickly from Low-A to High-A Frederick and then to Double-A Bowie.

Showalter sent an injured veteran, Hall of Famer Jim Thome, to scout Bundy one night in Bowie. Thome came away impressed but Showalter tried to be cautious.

Bundy walked eight hitters in 16 2/3 innings with the Baysox, and Showalter said: “Four walks in Bowie is more walks here.”

At the end of Bowie’s season, Bundy went down to Sarasota. But after the Orioles played an 18-inning game in Seattle, there was a change in plans. Bundy was to meet the team two days later in Boston.

The teenager pitched twice for the Orioles in 2012 but wasn’t included on their playoff roster.

Unfortunately, the next year didn’t start well, and Bundy underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013.


The next two years were full of stops and starts. A shoulder injury curtailed his 2015 season but because of Bundy’s early call-up in 2012, the Orioles had to put him on the major league roster in 2016 because he was out of options.

In the first half of 2016, Bundy was an effective addition to the bullpen. After the All-Star break, Showalter inserted him into the rotation.

He finished 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA. In 2017, his first full season as a starter, Bundy was 13-9 with a 4.24 ERA but his walks and hits were down.

As the Orioles bottomed out in 2018, so did Bundy, allowing a major league-high 41 home runs. His 8-16 record and 5.45 ERA didn’t make him attractive on the trade market. He posted better numbers in 2019 — allowing 12 fewer home runs and dropping his ERA — and general manager Mike Elias decided the time was right to make the deal with the Angels.

While his 7-14 record and 4.79 ERA weren’t impressive, he had 2.3 WAR, the second highest of his career.

Unlike last July’s deal for Andrew Cashner and Monday’s trade of infielder Jonathan Villar, which netted three raw players, Bundy fetches four right-handed pitchers, including one, Isaac Mattson, who reached Triple-A in 2019.

Mattson, who went to the University of Pittsburgh, had a 1.69 ERA in 10 2/3 innings for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League.

Two of the pitchers in the deal, Kyle Brnovich and Zach Peek, didn’t pitch after being drafted by the Angels, and the other, Kyle Bradish, pitched in the High-A California League, which is equivalent to Frederick.

Now that Elias has made two deals this week, shedding two of the seven arbitration-eligible players, he could always trade reliever Mychal Givens, but so far it doesn’t appear as if he’s found a match.

The most attractive player the Orioles have is slugger Trey Mancini, but the market for first baseman/outfielders isn’t as robust as it is for starting pitchers.

Bundy’s departure leaves a hole in the Orioles’ rotation. With John Means and Alex Cobb, Bundy’s presence could have made the Orioles presentable in 2020. Presumably, Asher Wojciechowski will return to the starting rotation, and Elias will have to find a couple more starters to fill out the rotation.

With a productive draft last year, seven players acquired for Cashner, Villar and Bundy and a class of international players signed last July, Elias appears to have started his “elite talent pipeline.”

The team should net more quality players in next June’s draft because they pick second.

In Wednesday’s conference call, Elias praised the players his predecessor, Dan Duquette, drafted and acquired in the bevy of trades in July 2018.

The Orioles have a farm system that’s rated in the Top 10 by some minor league observers. And if the team has another disappointing record in 2020, there will be another opportunity to draft high.

In bidding farewell to Bundy, Elias said: “He has done a lot for the Orioles. He has laid it on the line at all times for the Orioles.”

Bundy was a professional who never made excuses. He was honest, if brief, in his postgame assessments.

Bundy didn’t live up to the hype that came with being a highly touted high school pitcher who signed for $6.2 million.

He goes to the Angels for a fresh start with a club that will be more competitive than the Orioles and will pitch in a bigger ballpark. The guess here is that he’ll be more successful in Southern California than he was in Baltimore.

NOTE: The Orioles signed infielder Dilson Herrera to a minor league contract. Herrera, who is 25, hit .203 in 102 major leagues games with the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

In 2019, Herrera hit 24 home runs while batting .248 for the Mets’ Triple-A Syracuse team. Herrera drove in 64 runs and had an .832 OPS.

Herrera, a right-handed hitter, is primarily a second baseman but also has played left field and first base in the major leagues.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    December 5, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Before all the Elias defenders bash me again, I’d like to state that I like the Bundy trade in that is does seem to be about a return in players versus a savings of salary. I’d also like to add that I hope Elias finds somebody outside the organization as a suitable one year replacement for Dylan. So this leads me to:

    Quote from article: “And if the team has another disappointing record in 2020, there will be another opportunity to draft high.”

    Rich … this statement disturbs me. The only part of the Elias tear down and rebuild plan that I have a problem with, is that he seems to be making drafting very high-high up the draft order a priority, and the cornerstone strategy to his rebuild plan. You know .. the T-word.

    My contention is that if you build and maintain a solid scouting and minor league development system, drafting at the top of the order would not be necessary. That being said, I understand drafting 1-2-3 for a couple of years would provide a bump-start to developing these systems, but nevertheless, I find it a cheap tactic lacking scruples. Trying to lose, or in other words. not trying to win, should under no circumstances be accepted in the world of sports. If it were acceptable, Pete Rose would be in the HOF.


      December 5, 2019 at 8:45 am

      Thumbs up Boog!

    • Camden Brooks

      December 5, 2019 at 9:10 am

      I just don’t buy that Elias is intentionally trying to lose games in order to secure a better spot in the draft. Trading away higher priced talent for prospects is part of rebuilding, and will result in more losses. Trading Villar and avoiding his $10.4 million price tag is part of the rebuilding process, and will result in more losses. Making our most talented kids work their way up through the minors (even if they had a great spring training!) is also a necessary part of rebuilding process. The only way to avoid a ton of losses in a total internal rebuild is to pay serious $ for legit free agents, and this is cost prohibitive in Baltimore’s market and ownership situation right now. I didn’t drink the orange kool-aid, I’m not an Elias butt kisser. I simply know Elias and his team know more about running a team than me (and you), so I’ll give the man a chance to do his job. If his system doesn’t work, we will certainly know in a few more years.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        December 5, 2019 at 10:46 am

        Brooks, I respect ally you said, however I truly believe he has no interest in winning games last year or next. And the only reason I can see for a total lack of attention to the current team is that he’s intent on positioning the team in the draft. How else do you explain trading a guy like Cashner for 2 -16 year old alter boys? I don’t buy that the only way to avoid a ton of losses is to throw serious $$ for free agents. I’m certainly not proposing that. I support Elias, I really do, but don’t subject the fan base to this garbage and expect their support in return.

    • Camden Brooks

      December 5, 2019 at 11:15 am

      BRR you have to remember, Cashner was a short term rental, so nobody was going to give anything significant. Like most, I was still surprised at the return, but I believe that was what the market dictated. How would you avoid a ton of losses this year without spending FA $? The “playing our best players” doesn’t hold water when many of our best players aren’t major league ready yet. When they are ready, they’ll be in Baltimore (Santander, Harvey, Hays are examples). Diaz, Sisco, etc. clearly aren’t quite there yet. Mountcastle doesn’t have a position. For the record I think we should’ve cut ties with Davis, but it’s not my millions in the pot.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        December 5, 2019 at 12:24 pm

        You’re making my point for me. If all you get for trading Cashner is a bag of peanuts … why trade him at all?

        Maybe he would have accounted for only 1 or 2 more wins last year (or not..who knows), but those are 1 or 2 games in a close race for last place. Cashner was certainly more of a bonafide major league pitcher than the palookas Elias brought in from the dump head. Straily and whoever else they were? I sure as heck hope that Eilas has a better eye for talent than those bums…but then again … perhaps that was Mike’s intention all along?

    • Camden Brooks

      December 5, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Because 2 teenagers is still better than nothing.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        December 6, 2019 at 8:44 am

        Understood .. but I’d take the 1 or 2 more wins.

    • CalsPals

      December 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      Totally agree…go O’s…

  2. deqalt

    December 5, 2019 at 9:02 am

    I agree with Boog for sure. My biggest question is… When will we hit bottom and start going up? Definitely feels like we haven’t gotten there and to ask Orioles fan to just “eat it” is not good.

  3. Fareastern89

    December 5, 2019 at 9:04 am

    A decision to sacrifice wins at the major league level in return for improving the overall level of talent in the organization seems a rational long-term approach, especially considering the state of the O’s organization when Elias came on board. Fans who don’t buy into the rebuild can vote with their feet, but I’ll be attending more games this year to see the younger talent as it arrives.

  4. Diamondguy

    December 5, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Best of luck to Dylan! This was a good move for many reasons. I may not agree with all decisions but I like this one!

  5. cedar

    December 5, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I wish Bundy well with his new team. I agree that replacing him in the lineup is going to be a tough task given the current emphasis on building a young strong organizational system. I share everyone’s frustration with the loses but more than that it was the poor play and too many blow out games that demoralized me this season.

    I can take the losses if the team is playing competitive baseball. I’m okay not spending the dollars on Villar, trading Bundy and others. But I want to see better fundamentals and especially defense. There is hope with Santander and Hays in the OF. Maybe Harvey and Tate in the pen. A few others coming up next year. But it’s hard to watch them play poor basics.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 5, 2019 at 10:41 am

      Hi Cedar. Thanks for your regular contributions. Being able to play fundamentally well is a skill, and players who are lacking in other facets of the game are usually, but not always lacking in this part, too. If they hit and pitch poorly, they usually committ mental errors, too.

      Few bad teams play well fundamentally. It’s a frustration that many fans share, but I think it’s unlikely to happen.

      When the games become more competitive, that means the talent level is greater, and the team is getting better.

  6. Bman

    December 5, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Cobb, Bleier, Givens will all be traded at some point between now and July with a few more prospects coming in. Rule 5 #2 pick, June draft #2 pick, presumably another bad season and another high draft pick in 2021. Yes losing makes a great prospect pipeline. I have to believe 2nd half of 2020 season will be the end of the tear down phase.

    • Baltimore Castaway

      December 5, 2019 at 12:20 pm


      They will still be bad in 2021 but should be a more watchable team to root for w a young nucleus coming into place.

      At what point will they release Chris Davis?

  7. TheGreat8

    December 5, 2019 at 9:49 am

    I think Bundy was one of the last crop of draftees who was given an MLB contract when he signed. Thankfully they don’t do those anymore. That always seemed like a surefire way to screw with a pitchers development (Adam Loewen anyone?)… but overall hope Bundy does well. It seems silly to mark down to a minor injury but he was rolling before that sprained ankle in Atlanta in 2018 (i think he was an early CY candidate) and just never was the same pitcher after.

  8. willmiranda

    December 5, 2019 at 10:32 am

    It’s not much praise to say that the Bundy deal wasn’t as bad as the Villar one. The 2018 season was the bottom, or at least should have been. The team had a better –granted that is relative to a low standard– record in 2019, and it is reasonable to expect that 2020 should produce fewer losses, even fewer than 100. That is modest but steady progress. Why have people become so comfortable with losing 100 games a season? Losing over 100 games a season three years in a row, being that incompetent, is not easy. Few have done it. It’s like getting a zero on a true-false quiz with 100 items. You have to be trying and know all the wrong answers in order to avoid being right by chance. A team actually on the path to improvement shows improvement at each step, however small. The team took two steps this week. Has it moved forward? Is the team better without Villar and Bundy?

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 5, 2019 at 10:43 am

      Will, there was a greater market for Bundy than Villar because starting pitching is at such a premium, and because he had two years of club control left. Villar has just one.

      You can only judge if the team has moved forward this week if it’s better in 2021 and 2022 than it is now.

      • willmiranda

        December 6, 2019 at 9:44 am

        Thanks for the timeline, Rich, and positing noticeable improvement in 2021 or 2022 as a goal. Now by “better” do you mean 60 wins or 70 or 80 or something else by those dates? I have no problem will long-term projects, but I do see a need for concrete short-term goals that show progress toward the long-term goal. Personally, I don’t think expecting 65 wins in 2020, the second year of rebuilding, is unreasonable. If it’s not reached, adjustments can be made to reach whatever goals you propose for 2021 and 2022. Again, thanks for your timeline, and I’m glad you’re not in the camp of “We’re going to be bad for a long time, so get used to it.”

        • VICTORTEE

          December 6, 2019 at 9:58 am

          65 wins in 2020 is delusional UNLESS the O’s promote a lot of young players and they perform well. Elias is NOT going to bring in any major leaguers who can play and he is VERY SLOW to promote real prospects. So 65 is not likely.

          • Rich Dubroff

            December 6, 2019 at 10:24 am

            Victor, 65 wins means 97 losses, which would mark an 11-game improvement, but still would be a bad record. It’s more than 3 1/2 months until Opening Day, so I wouldn’t guess on a victory total. Last season, they were eight games better than the year before, but 108 losses means the second worst total in history.

            At some point, if the team jells in 2021 or 2022, there’s likely to be a jump in wins, but next year will probably be as challenging in many ways as this year was.

        • Rich Dubroff

          December 6, 2019 at 10:18 am

          In a lot of ways, improvement may be a gut reaction before it’s truly reflected in the standings. You’ll know the team is playing better when you’re looking forward to watching it rather than dreading it.

          By 2021, the Orioles should be losing fewer than 100 games. The Orioles have been bad for two years, and likely for a third, and in baseball terms, that’s bad for a long time.

          65 wins is 97 losses, and that’s still a bad record, Will.

          • willmiranda

            December 6, 2019 at 11:44 am

            Thanks for the replies, Rich and Vic. Yes, 65 wins is bad, but it’s less bad. I would not say “still” because the last two years have been worse than bad –hideous comes to mind. I prefer concrete measures like wins because they have better verification than feelings, which can become desensitized to the awful by repetition. But I’m happy to take your implied expectation of 63 wins in 2021. I hope we can agree that less than that would indicate less than acceptable progress.

  9. Orial

    December 5, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I wasn’t thrilled about the Villar trade but Bundy going doesn’t phase me at all. No longer will we have to watch him sweat profusedly and give up bombs and leave in the 5th inning. If he can lose 20 Lbs (something he should have done years ago) and take advantage of a change of scenery he may salvage a career loaded with potential. I have faith in Elias but still worry that fan apathy will drop attendence to an alarming level and start those nasty rumors again.


      December 6, 2019 at 10:01 am

      I am curious as to why you and so many others “have faith” in Elias. He is an unproven “prospect” too. He has never run the show or been the final decision maker before.

    • Bhoffman1

      December 6, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Agree he needs to lose weight maybe that will give him more whip on his mediocre fastball. Why not sign Kevin Gausman I always like him more then Bundy

  10. CalsPals

    December 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Unfortunately a bad place to end up given the issues they had last year, tough scenario with their former pitcher being supplied by employees, love Trout, not sure of the culture…go O’s…

  11. Tony Paparella

    December 5, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Elias and crew said this rebuild will take some time so I don’t think anyone should be too surprised at what is happening.And they apparently are shedding payroll along with trying to acquire prospects for veterans who are not in the future plans and while they have some trade ability. Saving around 15 mil with Bundy and Villar gone while picking up 5 players. Granted at this time none of them really catches any bodies attention but I guess you have to trust the Elias group and the process.The thing that I see as encouraging is that I believe we are going to see some of our new pitching prospects getting a chance this year. That is a hope of mine, though right now I am not sure where this new group is going but we should have a better idea in the coming months.

    • CalsPals

      December 5, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      Not the if they follow the Mountcastle model…go O’s…

    • Camden Brooks

      December 5, 2019 at 8:20 pm

      By the Mountcastle model, are you referring to the philosophy of not rushing a 22-year old to the majors when he has no position to play in the field?

    • CalsPals

      December 6, 2019 at 8:31 am

      Why must you always be so negative, reread it, didn’t say it was a bad thing, just said that if they chose to you handle them like Mountcastle they wouldn’t be up quickly…wow…go O’s…

    • Camden Brooks

      December 6, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Cals you make me laugh. Your posts are constantly negative against Elias’ decisions. My negative posts are only directed at people like you, who seem to think they know more than he does. Your Mountcastle comment is a perfect example.

    • CalsPals

      December 7, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      I’m not sure where you see my comment as negative, unlike your posts, your middle school thought process is as Rich says, laughable at best, I personally don’t care what the O’s do , except put their best players on the field…I’m glad I can provide a smile & entertainment for you…go O’s…

    • Camden Brooks

      December 8, 2019 at 2:05 am

      Once again, mirror. Use it.

    • CalsPals

      December 8, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Don’t have too, I am flattered you pay so much attention to me though…thx…very happily married though….go O’s….

  12. WorldlyView

    December 5, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    What are the Orioles doing with the money they are saving by shedding veterans?

    • Bancells Moustache

      December 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Due to less overhead, ticket prices are being reduced by 15%, and parking reduced by $5, as a thank you to the people of Maryland for financing their gorgeous, revenue producing stadium…

      BWAHAHAHAHAHA yeah right, they’re keeping the money.

      • WorldlyView

        December 5, 2019 at 5:10 pm

        OK by me if they keep the money. They could stockpile more cash if they traded Mancini and Cobb. If they did, we might hit 150 losses next year. Also, given Rich’s report (see above) on the batting stats of the new signee, Dilson Herrera, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a cutthroat bidding war for his services, a contest that would have priced him way out of our range.

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