Dylan Bundy Rumors
The Mets made Daniel Murphy available this past offseason but put a high price on the second baseman's services, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports, including asking the Orioles for top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy. Murphy has been working hard this spring to increase his value to the Mets, focusing on making more contact at the plate and reaching base more often (Murphy only had a .319 OBP last season). "On-base and slugging, this is what teams want," Murphy said. "This is what drives the offensive market now. They want you to be able to get on base, and when you do get base hits, they want them to be doubles. So I think that our game is heading in that direction. I think (the Mets are) probably a little bit farther, maybe out in front a little bit of the curve."
Here's some more from the Amazins' camp...
- "I'm not a mercenary," David Wright tells Bob Klapsich of the Bergen Record, as the Mets third baseman insisted that he has no regrets over staying with the team through their ongoing rebuilding process. "If my goal was to win right this second, then obviously, I would've been a free agent," Wright said. "To me, it was important to show loyalty to the Mets. I grew up rooting for them, they drafted me when I was 18, they're the only team I've ever played for." Klapisch, however, opines that the Mets haven't shown that same loyalty to Wright by not spending more to make the team competitive.
- The Mets' rebuild could be spurred by making trades rather than free agent signings, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that if the Mets are willing to expand their payroll, they have the minor league depth to acquire expensive star players from teams who are themselves looking to rebuild or unload salaries.
- After eight seasons in the minors, 31-year-old Anthony Seratelli is still looking for his first taste of the majors, and now the New Jersey native has a chance close to home after he signed a minor league deal with the Mets earlier this offseason. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo profiles Seratelli's career, his video-editing talents and how he is inspired to keep playing by the tragic losses of his father and grandmother.
“If my goal was to win right this second, then obviously, I would’ve been a free agent,” Wright said. “To me, it was more important to show loyalty to the Mets. I grew up rooting for them, they drafted me when I was 18, they’re the only team I’ve ever played for.” - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/Klapisch_Mets_rebirth_vital_for_David_Wright.html?c=y&page=1#sthash.2fJKHX8T.dpu
3:36pm: Regarding the Bundy rumor, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said, "That probably came from someone who wants to trade for the player," according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.
2:27pm: The Orioles have always been willing to consider trading Bundy and other top prospects, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. During the offseason, they kicked around a Bundy-Wil Myers swap, he adds. However, the Orioles would have to be overwhelmed to deal their top prospects, and the available veterans on the trade market wouldn't come close.
8:39am: The aggressive Orioles are "even willing to move" top prospect Dylan Bundy "for the right return," sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Perhaps any player can be moved for the right return, but Rosenthal's report implies the Orioles are more willing to listen on Bundy than teams usually are on top prospects.
Bundy, 20, was generally regarded as one of the three best prospects in baseball prior to the season. He was drafted fourth overall in 2011 out of high school and rocketed through the minors last year despite delicate handling by the Orioles. However, the righty underwent Tommy John surgery last month, dropping him to 11th on Keith Law's midseason list for ESPN and 17th on Baseball America's list.
The Orioles are targeting Jake Peavy, Justin Morneau, and Michael Young, writes Rosenthal, confirming previous reports. I think it's clear Bundy would not be involved in discussions for those players, even Peavy. I imagine a Bundy trade is unlikely, but if he is dealt, it would involve a big name not currently in the rumor mill much. As Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports noted, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has the ability to be a game-changer, on the remote chance he gets an offer enticing enough to move Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion.
Earlier today the Orioles were reported as one of the teams that is in hot pursuit of Ricky Nolasco, and it was also announced that infielder Yamaico Navarro cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A. Here's more on the O's...
- Top prospect Dylan Bundy will undergo Tommy John surgery after meeting with Dr. James Andrews earlier today, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Bundy ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the game prior to this season, according to Baseball America and MLB.com.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reports (via Twitter) that Bundy will now have a fourth option year as a result of the injury. As Baseball America's Matt Eddy explained back in March: "Players who have a season wiped out by injury do not receive credit for a 'professional season' so long as they spend 30 or fewer days on the active roster."
- Connolly also tweets that Freddy Garcia has yet to decide if he will accept an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. The 36-year-old has until Thursday to make a decision. Baltimore attempted to option Garcia to Triple-A rather than designating him for assignment earlier this week.
At 42-31, the Orioles have the second-best record in the American League. That impressive win total comes despite the fact that their starting pitchers, as a whole, have the fourth-worst ERA in the Majors at 4.76. Given that number, it's no surprise to see MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli write that the Orioles will be in the market for starting pitching help in her latest Orioles Inbox. According to Ghiroli, names like Ricky Nolasco, Bud Norris, Jason Vargas and Joe Saunders are on the team's radar. She adds that Mike Pelfrey's name has also surfaced.
No one from that group stands out as an ace-caliber pitcher, which meshes with Ghiroli's statement that the Orioles "would like to add at least one more pitcher to help eat innings and keep the bullpen fresh." That trade could come prior to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, or, if asking prices are high, executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette could make a waiver trade in August as he did in 2012 when he acquired Saunders from the Diamondbacks for Matt Lindstrom.
Asked about the Orioles seeking a potential upgrade at second base via the trade market, Ghiroli said that the team isn't looking for second base upgrades. Baltimore is satisfied with the defense of Ryan Flaherty, and Brian Roberts is nearing a rehab assignment. According to Ghiroli, the Orioles would prefer to "[funnel] any and all resources and trade chips into helping out the rotation."
Not surprisingly, the Orioles aren't willing to discuss Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy in trades, which is likely the reason for focusing on second- and third-tier trade targets. Of the five names mentioned, Norris figures to have the highest asking price. Only he is controlled beyond 2013; each of the other four can be free agents at season's end.
Earlier this season the O's were said to be looking for a top-of-the-rotation starter, but they seem to have shifted that focus. Given their unwillingness to part with Gausman or Bundy, it stands to reason that acquiring an ace-caliber arm would've been an unrealistic goal.
The Orioles are likely to seek a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher but are completely unwilling to include top prospects Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy in a package, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Orioles starters currently rank 23rd in ERA, and they recently lost Wei-Yin Chen to the disabled list with an oblique strain. There's no exact timetable no Chen, though Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun speculated today that he could be sidelined for as long as six weeks.
The Orioles were very interested in R.A. Dickey this offseason, according to Heyman, but even with the Blue Jays' disastrous start there's no guarantee that he would be available. Dickey can be controlled through the 2016 season, so the Blue Jays can hang onto him even if they don't contend this year. Baltimore has "little, if any" interest in mending Cubs ace Matt Garza, Heyman adds.
The Orioles went out and got some pitching help last summer by adding Joe Saunders in an August trade, but it sounds like GM Dan Duquette and his staff are eyeing bigger targets this time around. Heyman notes that before pursuing second tier options again (e.g. Ricky Nolasco, Edinson Volquez and Jason Vargas), the team is likely to exhaust its internal options.
I imagine that the Orioles will have an incredibly difficult time putting together a package for an ace-caliber pitcher without Gausman and Bundy, as the rest of their farm system lacks elite talent. Neither Baseball America or MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo listed an Orioles prospect besides those two in their respective Top 100 lists this offseason. ESPN's Keith Law (Insider required) ranked infielder Jonathan Schoop 50th overall (noting that he prefers him at third base) and lefty Eduardo Rodriguez 100th, but neither is the type of impact talent typically required to land a front-line starter.
Top Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy will see Dr. James Andrews after throwing on Monday and "not feeling quite right," MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reports. Bundy has not pitched since March. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft and is arguably the highest-upside player in that draft, but it's hard not to be concerned about a young pitcher paying a visit to Dr. Andrews, even though a recent MRI on his right elbow came back clear. Over the weekend, we asked you which of the first ten picks in the 2011 draft would have the best career, and 31% of you said it would be Bundy. Here are more notes from the AL East.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman wasn't expecting his team's decision to go with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart at catcher to go as well as it has so far this season, Andy Martino of New York Daily News reports. "I can’t tell you that we made any decisions based on knowing that we were tapping into that, and we would be fine," says Cashman. "That would be inaccurate. ... Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good." The Yankees let Russell Martin leave for Pittsburgh in the offseason. Cervelli has hit .283/.389/.478 as his replacement, and Stewart has hit .353/.353/.529. Of course, both stat lines come in very small samples, which is one reason Cashman is wise to abstain from bragging. Cashman is also modest about his team's acquisition of Vernon Wells, which has also worked out well in the early going.
- The flip side is that the Yankees ignored glaring needs in their "dormant" offseason, Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues writes. The Yankees should have acquired a righty-hitting outfielder and a utility infielder over the winter, Axisa says. Ben Francisco currently occupies the righty-bench-outfielder role, and he hasn't hit. In the infield, Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix have struggled so far.
A few notes on the Orioles..
- The Orioles considered trading pitching for a hitter last offseason, but decided not to deal their young hurlers, Jayson Stark of ESPN reports. Stark says the Orioles would not include Dylan Bundy in a deal with the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton, and also ultimately passed on Jason Kubel. “Some of the bats that we could get would have improved our team,” says executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. “But it wasn't a huge improvement. And we wanted to hold onto the pitching depth and see if we could utilize the pitching depth to have a competitive team. And we could always take a look at that [later].”
- Koji Uehara thought he might return to Baltimore this offseason, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun reports. "I thought that there would be a possibility [of playing in Baltimore], but I didn't especially put a lot of weight on each team or one particular team," says Uehara. "I thought that every team had a chance." The Red Sox signed Uehara to a one-year, $4.25MM deal in December.
- Outfielder Henry Urrutia has finally arrived in the United States, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports writes. The 26-year-old Cuban defector received a $779K bonus from the Orioles in 2012, but had been in Haiti and has only now received a work visa. He will take a physical, then head to Orioles minor-league camp in Sarasota. The O's had intended to send Urrutia to Double-A Bowie last year, Kubatko notes.
Justin Verlander repeated today that he wants to stay with the Tigers beyond 2014, when his current contract expires. “I love Detroit,” he said, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. “I feel like I’m a kindred part of that town. I grew up in front of these fans and earned my way into their hearts.” Verlander said he's not yet sure whether he and his representatives would be willing to negotiate during the season. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- Grantland's Jonah Keri interviewed Orioles GM Dan Duquette about the success of his team in 2012 and Duquette's outlook on 2013. Duquette feels that both Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman will be ready to make significant impacts on the club at some point in 2013.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark presents an in-depth look at the top stories to watch in each league during Spring Training this year. Stark's piece also includes breakdowns of the best and worst free agent signings, trades and more, according to a group of 16 baseball scouts and executives.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs lists the ten worst moves of the offseason with the caveat that "the worst moves aren’t as bad as bad as they used to be." The Royals make three appearances on the list after trading Wil Myers to obtain James Shields, acquiring Ervin Santana and signing Jeremy Guthrie for three years.
- Meanwhile, in another piece for Grantland, Keri examines the worst contracts in MLB starting with Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Carl Crawford of the Dodgers.
- Agents at Hendricks Sports have filed an MLBPA grievance against three MLB agents who left the firm for Excel Sports Management and took players with them, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports (on Twitter). Be sure to use MLBTR’s Agency Database for your agency-related inquiries.
Let's take a look at the latest news and notes on what could be the final day of the 2012 baseball season.
- Jim Leyland's future as manager of the Tigers is still unclear, tweets Tom Gage of the Detroit News. Before tonight's World Series game, Leyland said nobody puts a team together better than team President/CEO/GM Dave Dombrowski adding "hopefully he feels I'm the guy to manage it."
- The Orioles' most pressing needs for 2013 are a frontline starter, a second baseman, and dealing with the unsettled positions of left field and first base, writes MASN.com's Roch Kubatko.
- Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy are among the Orioles who could make a big step in 2013, according to Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
- The Indians should only trade Chris Perez if they feel Vinnie Pestano can replace him as closer, opined Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as he delved into his readers' mailbag. Hoynes also believes Lonnie Chisenhall will be given every opportunity to be the everyday third baseman and Sandy Alomar, Jr. would have been the slam-dunk choice as manager, if Terry Francona hadn’t been so adamant about getting back in the dugout.
- In the wake of Shohei Otani's announced intention to pursue a MLB career rather than play in Japan, Japanese baseball officials are considering stricter rules for amateur players who want to do the same, reports the Associated Press (via the Boston Herald).
- Tom Kotchman denied he was forced out by the Angels insisting his decision to leave was due to a desire to find something closer to his Tampa-St. Petersburg area home, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
- Congratulations to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who was named the first female president in the 104-year history of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
- Manny Ramirez's quest to resurrect his baseball career has the slugger heading to the Dominican Republic in hopes of catching the eye of a potential suitor during a tryout for three Japanese teams, writes George A. King III of the New York Post.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
On this day in 1949, Cleveland owner Bill Veeck and a group of players held a funeral service to bury the 1948 pennant in centerfield. The Indians were mathematically eliminated from the American League pennant race 24 hours prior on their off-day. Here's the latest news and stories making headlines from around the league...
- Finding a reliable backup for Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop should be a priority for the Indians this offseason, opines Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cleveland has relied on the services of Brent Lillibridge and Jason Donald for the majority of the season but mixed results and general inconsistency have left manager Manny Acta in search of another option. "We really need somebody, when we give Cabby a day off or he goes down, who can step in help us out. It's been an issue... It's been an issue."
- Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur's big league aspirations may soon come to fruition with Boston's coaching staff facing uncertainty this offseason, writes Brian MacPherson of The Pawtucket Journal. "I want to be a pitching coach in the big leagues," Sauveur said. "I've wanted that ever since 2000 when I retired." The former Major League left-hander will spend the final two weeks of the season with the Red Sox as a reward for his strong contributions to the PawSox.
- Orioles top prospect Dylan Bundy's Major League debut against the Red Sox on Sunday didn't come without a hitch, reports MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. The 19-year-old right-hander couldn't find his glove when the call came to the bullpen requesting his services on the mound. "Tommy Hunter answered the phone and told me I was going in. I said, 'What?' and I couldn't find my glove. Took me about a minute to find it," Bundy said. "He told me to get going, so I was like, OK, its happening, and I got loose as quick as I could."