Dylan Bundy Rumors
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."
Before the regular season began, I suggested the Orioles were likely headed for a 60-75 win season and added that there’s “not much to dream on” in Baltimore. My mistake. With two weeks to go in the regular season, the Orioles are tied for first place in the AL East and they’re likely headed for the postseason. Here’s the latest from the division, starting with one of the game’s top pitching prospects...
- The Orioles are promoting top prospect Dylan Bundy to the Major Leagues following their 18-inning win over the Mariners, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Orioles hadn’t intended to call Bundy up, but they need pitching and he’s viewed as someone who can help them win.
- The extended absences of Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos have been damaging for the Yankees in the short term and in the long term, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. The young pitchers were expected to provide the Yankees with quality innings and help the team avoid the luxury tax threshold by 2014. Instead, they’ve been injured so the Yankees will feel pressure to re-sign Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda this coming offseason, Sherman reports.
- The Yankees still have some hope that David Aardsma could pitch this year, Sherman adds. They signed the reliever with 2013 in mind, knowing that most of this year would be spent recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The newly-acquired Joe Saunders makes his Orioles debut tonight against the White Sox as the O's look for their fifth straight victory. A Baltimore win would put the Orioles just 2.5 games behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East. Here are some notes from Charm City...
- Dylan Bundy won't be called up for the Orioles' pennant drive, manager Buck Showalter told reporters (including MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli). The right-hander will instead pitch in the instructional league once the Double-A season concludes. While Showalter "couldn’t ask for a better progression” of Bundy's minor league development, he and the team feel that the 19-year-old Bundy isn't yet ready for Major League hitters.
- The Orioles don't appear to be interested in left-hander Erik Bedard, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The Pirates released Bedard yesterday after the southpaw posted a 5.01 ERA, 8.5 K/9 rate and a 2.11 K/BB ratio in 24 starts in Pittsburgh. Bedard spent five seasons with the O's before being traded to the Mariners in 2008 in the deal that brought Adam Jones and Chris Tillman (among others) to Baltimore.
- Showalter also told reporters (including Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore) that the team is looking at Randy Wolf as a starting pitcher, though he isn't ruling out using Wolf out of the bullpen. The Orioles will sign Wolf and activate him before Friday but the deal hasn't yet been officially finalized.
- GM Dan Duquette hasn't been afraid to make moves this year, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes how the Orioles' willingness to shuffle their roster has helped the team to their surprising record.
With the calendar ready to turn to the final month of the regular season, there are still 15 teams in contention for a playoff spot. From the surprises (Athletics, Pirates, Orioles) to the big spenders (Dodgers, Angels, Tigers), the addition of a second Wild Card to each league has take the race for the playoffs to another level. Let's take a moment to catch up on the latest stories and news making headlines from around baseball...
- It took him awhile, but FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal finally understands why the Dodgers' trade with the Red Sox actually makes sense for Los Angeles. The addition of Adrian Gonzalez to man first base gives the Dodgers the game's biggest Mexican-American star as well as an upgrade both offensively and defensively. Even though Los Angeles paid a large sum for its package of stars, Rosenthal suggests the team wouldn't have had many desirable options to pursue this offseason.
- Another star player appears to be done in Boston - at least for this season - write Evan Drellich and Austin Laymance of MLB.com. Slugger David Ortiz, enjoying a strong season at the plate, may find himself on the disabled list come Monday as he continues to struggle with his right Achilles tendon. "We're talking about it, because I just can't really play like this," Ortiz said. "I don't want to be thinking about my foot while I'm facing the opposition, which is what happened to me after I hit that double [on Friday]."
- Prospect Dylan Bundy can't help but wonder what it would be like if the Orioles call up the right-hander to join the big league club in Baltimore this September, writes Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com. The 19-year-old isn't afraid of the bright lights of the big city as he doesn't think there's much of a difference between playing at Double-A and facing Derek Jeter amidst a playoff race. "Not any pressure at all, it's just the same game. Little bit better hitters. Someone told me the other day, it's the same distance between the rubber and home plate no matter where you are. Just little bit bigger stands, little bit better hitters in the box. More media, but it's all the same."
The Orioles announced last night that they will promote 20-year-old infield prospect Manny Machado to the Major Leagues. It seems likely that Machado, the third overall pick of the 2010 draft, will play third base in Baltimore. Here are the latest Orioles-related links...
- One rival general manager questioned the Orioles' decision to promote Machado, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. "Just because he's better than Wilson Betemit doesn't mean it's the right move for the kid,'' the GM said. The GM acknowledged that Machado is “really good, one of the top ten prospects in MLB.”
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter recently made it sound like Machado was headed to the Instructional League this September, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes (Twitterlinks).
- Sherman suggests the Orioles could call on top prospect Dylan Bundy this September and use him out of the bullpen. Bundy, 19, was just promoted to Double-A after posting a 1.92 ERA with 11.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 84 1/3 innings at Class A.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney points out that the Orioles have had to juggle their roster all season long. Executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told Olney the Orioles have been “piecing it together” and relying on manager Buck Showalter to get the most out of the roster. Showalter said it helps that the Orioles are a professional, blue collar group “They really like each other. And they like to win," he said.