What’s next for the Angels and Dylan Bundy? Push the gamble further.
Okay, let’s pretend for a moment that yesterday’s decision to not trade Dylan Bundy had absolutely no subtext to it at all. There is no long-term plan in place for the right-hander, whether it be to trade him or to extend him.
With the Angels holding one final season of arbitration control over Bundy’s services, the Halos could opt to simply ride out the remainder of the 2020 season and then tender the right-hander a contract. At that stage, they then need to come to an agreement over what his services were worth in 2020, likely leading to a potentially contentious discussion on valuation during a shortened season.
Once all that is said and done, the Angels will then watch to see if Bundy can replicate his production over a full season. Instead of being exposed to hitters who had a short ramp-up to the season, he’ll have to answer to big leaguers who had a full spring to warm up. Additionally, he’ll be exposed to more teams, as regional play goes away.
The potential for regression will always be an issue for Bundy, given his past performance. However, there is also the potential that he’s figured it out. If he proves that on a walk year, he potentially costs the team a lot more money or opts for free agency altogether.
Of course, the Angels could extend Bundy a qualifying offer following the 2021 season, but that comes with a likely price tag closer to $20 million. Despite his growth this season, I’m not sure he’s a $20 million per season pitcher.
And then there is the chance that he declines it and all the Angels recoup is a draft pick instead. Will that be worth the gamble of not signing him long-term or finding a trade partner with more proven pieces?
Regardless of the direction the Angels go, Dylan Bundy will continue to represent a gamble for the team. However, this is one which they desperately need to come out on the winning side.