Minor league pitchers Kyle Bradish, Isaac Mattson, Zach Peek and RHP Kyle Brnovich will join the Orioles. Baltimore are still in the depths of a rebuild after letting Jonathan Villar leave the club only a few days ago.
The Angels ranked 30th in baseball (yes, that’s last) in starting pitcher wins above average in 2019. With Gerrit Cole expected to head to south California, the rumours have been bubbling along. Los Angeles needed more than one arm, however.
Fangraphs project their rotation to be Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval, Jamie Barria and Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani’s return to the mound is obviously exciting after his ace-like showing in 2018. Other than that, it’s not an inspiring group. Bundy’s upside is a welcome addition.
Bundy is an interesting pitcher. Drafted fourth overall, and once ranked as high as the second-best prospect in baseball, the talent has been well-known. For his career, however, he’s a below-average pitcher with an ERA+ of 95.
He’s got a great slider, a changeup with promise and a fastball that gets mashed. Bundy is a project pitcher in some senses, but he’s also an important add for the Angels. They needed multiple pitchers, and Bundy is a good start to revamping this rotation. A change of pitching coach, a new environment, could bring the best out of him.
The four players given up don’t represent much loss for the Angels, who are firmly in ‘be as good as possible’ territory with Mike Trout and Ohtani under control. Baltimore add to their farm, but not many people expect Bradish, Mattson, Peek or Brnovich to be difference makers in the future. The Orioles can do with as many lottery tickets as possible, though.
The important thing for Los Angeles is that this deal is the start. Whether it’s Cole, Strasburg or Bumgarner, the starting staff needs more work even if they unlock Bundy’s potential.