July 23: The Rockies have been scouting both Gausman and Bundy recently, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Colorado has held a “longstanding interest” in Gausman, in particular, Rosenthal adds.
Colorado’s rotation has been in the bottom-third of the league in terms of ERA this season, though Rockies starters collectively rank in the top half of the league in both FIP and xFIP, lending some more reason for optimism. That said, Opening Day starter Jon Gray has been anything but the anchor the club expected him to be this season, and Chad Bettis has also had his share of struggles.
July 22: Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop and right-handers Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy are drawing trade interest, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The Braves have asked the Orioles about all three players, while the Brewers have inquired about Schoop and Gausman, and Kubatko confirms the Yankees’ previously reported interest in Gausman.
Whether the Orioles are open to moving any of those players is unclear, but as a rebuilding team with the majors’ worst record (28-71), it stands to reason they’d listen to offers. Gausman and Bundy would likely bring back appealing returns, considering both the underwhelming trade market for starting pitchers and the fact that they’re affordable and controllable. The 27-year-old Gausman, who’s on a $5.6MM salary, has two arbitration trips remaining. Bundy, 25, is much cheaper ($1.64MM), and he’ll go through the first of three potential arbitration trips during the upcoming winter. Meanwhile, Schoop’s in his penultimate year of arbitration control and on an $8.5MM salary.
To this point, Gausman and Bundy have experienced similar seasons. Gausman has pitched to a 4.33 ERA/4.48 FIP with 7.77 K/9, 2.16 BB/9 and a 46.7 percent groundball rate over 112 1/3 innings, continuing a career of decent production. Bundy has managed a 4.57 ERA/4.85 FIP with 9.64 K/9, 2.61 BB/9 and a 34 percent grounder rate across 108 1/3 frames. He’s currently in the throes of a rough stretch in which he has allowed five earned runs in three consecutive starts. Thanks in part to that, the former top prospect’s ERA has risen by nearly a full run since June 11, when it sat at 3.66.
Schoop, 26, was among the game’s premier second basemen in 2017, when he slashed .293/.338/.503 with 32 home runs and 3.8 fWAR in 675 plate appearances. This season has been a totally different story, though, as Schoop has batted .229/.262/.394 with 11 homers and a replacement-level fWAR over 333 PAs. Moreover, he owns the majors’ fifth-worst xwOBA (.268), per Statcast, suggesting his .281 wOBA isn’t a product of poor luck.
Despite his decline this season, both the Brewers and Braves seem to think Schoop could help them. The fact that the Brewers are looking for an upgrade at the keystone isn’t a surprise, as their second basemen have hit a mere .227/.285/.340 and accounted for minus-0.5 fWAR. The Braves’ interest is an eye-opener, however, considering they have Ozzie Albies at second. Perhaps they could stand to upgrade over Dansby Swanson at shortstop and Johan Camargo at third base, but both players have outperformed Schoop this year, and Schoop has minimal professional experience at those two positions.