After the Toronto Blue Jays won the Taijuan Walker sweepstakes, will the Angels’ Dylan Bundy become the most sought-after arm on the trade market?
The MLB Trade Deadline has officially opened for business, with a couple of trades being completed involving pitchers moving to mid-level contenders. The latest deal, for a starting pitcher, could put the Los Angeles Angels on the clock.
On Thursday morning, a trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners was announced that sent pitcher Taijuan Walker to Toronto in exchange for the infamous player to be named later. That player is believed to be a prospect that is not currently on the team’s 60-man player pool. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report the trade.
So why are we talking about a Mariners/Blue Jays trade on Halo Hangout? Simply put, this could have implications on the Angels and, more notably, Dylan Bundy.
Like Walker, Bundy has been heavily attached to trade rumors as we approach Monday’s deadline. However, Bundy has been a much more dominant pitcher in 2020 (3-2, 2.58 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 10.3 K/9) and would represent a much more costly addition for a buyer.
After Taijuan Walker Trade, are Blue Jays out on Dylan Bundy?
Heading into the deadline, the Blue Jays are one of a few playoff contenders on the edge of the bubble in the American League. While their lineup is young and exciting, their rotation has been devastated by injuries in recent weeks, with Nate Pearson, Trent Thornton, and Matt Shoemaker all landing on the IL in the last two weeks. As such, they have an obvious area of need for starting pitching.
Earlier this week, we heard that the Blue Jays were looking at a number of Angels players, including Dylan Bundy, as possible trade targets. In addition to Bundy, Toronto was said to possibly be interested in Jason Castro and Tommy La Stella.
The trouble was, it was always difficult to see the two teams lining up on a trade for the right-hander. The Halos would undoubtedly want several pieces in return and given their desire to contend next season, they would want someone that is close to MLB-ready that can step into Bundy’s vacant rotation spot. Toronto, close to finishing their own rebuild, would not want to plunder their system when they are this close to contention territory.
The acquisition of Taijuan Walker, who is a free agent after the season and relatively affordable both in remaining salary and prospect cost, likely represents a pivot for the Jays. While we can’t rule them out for other trades, a deal for Bundy seems a reach at this stage.
If the Blue Jays are out on a Dylan Bundy trade, who remains?
While the Blue Jays may have filled their hole in the rotation, that doesn’t close the book completely on a Dylan Bundy trade. There are still a number of contenders who are trying to settle their rotations before we head to the postseason. Some were even rumored to be interested in Walker before he was dealt to Toronto.
Let’s take a quick look at a few of those teams:
New York Yankees
Nobody wants to send the Yankees any players if they can help it, but New York is nonetheless of the teams looking to shore up their starting staff. Like the Blue Jays, they’ve dealt with a bunch of injuries and ineffectiveness from their rotation.
The Yanks were reported to have inquired on Walker before he was traded. As such, Dylan Bundy could make a lot of sense here. Bundy has struggled in the AL East and his past issues with the home run ball make him a stretch for Yankee Stadium, but a new approach with the Angels may address those questions.
In terms of matching up on a trade, the Yankees have a pair of enticing prospects in Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia that could fit what the Angels are looking for. However, one would question if they’d be willing to part with either for a year-plus of Bundy.
Another team that is looking to find pitching at the deadline is the Atlanta Braves. While they haven’t had to deal with as many injuries as New York, they’ve nonetheless dealt with ineffectiveness from some of their young starters.
Bundy is the type of veteran arm that Alex Anthopoulos loves to acquire in trades, especially with an extra season of control and an affordable salary.
Recently promoted starting prospect Ian Anderson is undoubtedly off-limits in trade talks. However, a pair of lefty arms in their system, Kyle Muller and Tucker Davidson, would certainly have appeal to the Angels and could be ready to contribute as soon as 2021.
Alright, I know that dealing within the division is almost never done, but the Angels and Astros have lined up for deals in the past (see Patrick Sandoval).
There is perhaps no team in baseball that has seen more issues with their starting staff than Houston. Yet, unlike the Angels, the Astros still see themselves as contenders and will be looking for reinforcements at the deadline. Additionally, the team could be in the market for an affordable, controllable starter for 2021 as well, as the team has numerous other free agent holes focus on.
Houston is said to be willing to part with former top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley. He had a tough year in 2019, but pitched well in the Arizona Fall League (2.88 ERA, 11.5 K/9). He could be exactly the type of prospect the Angels could target in a Bundy deal, one with high upside and potential to be a game changer for Anaheim.
What do you think? Will the Angels move Dylan Bundy at the trade deadline?