The Seattle Mariners are on a 3 game winning streak so of course, they are going to the World Series. But in all reality, they are focused on 2020 and beyond, which means they could use some outside help.
While the Mariners stated goal is to start their turn in the second half of 2020 and begin their title run in 2021, they won’t be waiting that long to add MLB pieces to get there. While right now all we are hearing are rumors of salary dumps, there is a strong case to be made that adding MLB talent might be cheaper now than this winter.
And we know GM Jerry Dipoto isn’t going to wait around for his prospects to develop to try and win a World Series organically. No GM in baseball would. Dipoto is going to add outside help to his cause and we can safely assume it will be mostly via trade.
I do expect the Mariners to make at least 1 “buyers” move this summer. Not a buy to help them in 2019 (although the player would help now) but one to help them until 2021. There are a few options and we will likely write up a profile on several of them including, Matt Boyd, Clint Frazier, and Jon Gray.
In today’s trade a day article, we will be looking at a potential buy move, adding some decent starting pitching with some upside to the MLB roster. So today, let’s talk Baltimore Orioles SP Dylan Bundy.
If you’ve watched the past 2 games, I don’t have to tell you that the Orioles are bad. Like, really bad and they are still about 2 years behind the Mariners in their rebuild, if not 3. Bundy, who is a free agent after the 2021 season, has no chance of being on the team when they are ready to compete unless he and the team want to sign an extension.
In all likelihood, Bundy will be long gone by the time the Orioles are ready to compete for anything more than .500 so trading him now might be the smartest move. Bundy makes a lot of sense for Seattle, as he isn’t so good that they’ll need to get into a bidding war with contenders, but still has some upside left in his arm.
The 26-year-old Bundy is having an okay season, posting a 4.59 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, and 86 strikeouts in 80.1 innings. Prior to his start against the Mariners, Bundy was on a nice run, posting a 3.09 ERA and allowing an opponents OBP of just .284.
Bundy’s stuff is that of a solid #3 but hasn’t gotten enough value from his fastball to post those type of numbers. The slider is his best secondary pitch and is solidly above-average. This year, both the changeup and curveball have taken a step forward as well.
Bundy throws strikes, having a career sub-3.0 BB/9 but it is more control over command. The biggest issue with Bundy is the longball. After surrendering a league-high 41 homers in 2018, he has already allowed 17 this year. But with his stuff and strike-throwing capabilities, as well as his age, there are some serious signs of a breakout coming soon.
But what would it cost for the Mariners to acquire Bundy? It really depends on what the market is like for the righty. Contenders may be scared off by his home run issues and may not want to wait around for the breakout to happen.
It is a relatively simple deal. The Mariners get 2.5 years of Dylan Bundy and the Orioles get to take a crack at former top prospect Kyle Lewis. The Mariners have been adamant that Lewis will be a part of their future, but 3 years in, Lewis has failed to live up to expectations and has been pretty mediocre at the plate in AA Arkansas.
Lewis isn’t a bad prospect and still has a ways to go before he reaches junk bond status, but the clock is ticking and the Mariners have a lot of depth in the OF. It may seem weird to give up 6 years of Lewis for 2.5 of Bundy, especially when Bundy will become a free agent after the team’s first “competitive year”, but it may be a risk worth taking.
A lot can happen in 2.5 years. The Mariners could arrive ahead of schedule. What if Bundy finally breaks out? You’ll probably recoup your cost plus a little extra. Or what if Bundy wants to stick around?
It’s a risk to be sure, but not nearly as big as giving away multiple Top 10 prospects for somebody like Boyd would be.
If the Mariners really want to compete in 2021, they need help from outside the organization. Buying Bundy now could help and the cost won’t be prohibited down the road. Bundy helps you get through 2019, sets up a replacement for Felix Hernandez or Mike Leake in 2020, and doesn’t cost you a giant contract to do it.
The Mariners seem like a good fit for Dylan Bundy, and Bundy a good fit for Seattle. Time will tell if this is a direction Dipoto wants to go, but on the surface, this proposal makes a lot of sense.