If the Angels shop pitcher Dylan Bundy, the Cubs should try to pull off a trade.
The changes to this season have caused a ripple effect across the league in more ways than one. There are no fans to root their teams on. Behind the scenes, the many moving parts create a new intrigue for expectations and how clubs have attacked the year to this point.
In a truncated season, games have a higher value. Losses hurt worse. Wins provide relief. And an expanded playoff scenario where 16 teams will experience some level of extra baseball. It also provides intrigue to the trade deadline. This year’s deadline is August 31, and it is a one-day event, with no movement via trade following the deadline.
The Los Angeles Angels are currently 9-20 and do not have a realistic shot at making the postseason. Current starter Dylan Bundy, who has been a light for the Halo’s, is speculated as a trade target for Los Angeles. The Cubs need pitching, even if for a short time, and Bundy could be their guy to push them into the postseason and beyond this year.
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Bundy has been nothing short of a modern-day Cy Young this year. Through his first six starts, spanning 38 1/3 innings, Bundy has posted a 2.58 ERA and a 28.9 percent strikeout rate to only a 5.3 percent walk rate. It is the first time in Bundy’s career he has reached these peak numbers and seems like a perfect fit for any team in contention.
There are a few measures both with Bundy’s production and his cost, which set him apart from other possible names at the deadline. Of all starting pitchers across baseball, Bundy has the second most valuable slider, behind only Minnesota Twins starter Kenta Maeda. He also has a top ten changeup, which has helped generate swings and misses. Both pitches bode well for a place like Wrigley Field.
The second piece for Bundy is his contractual value. Due to an inconsistent nature, Bundy’s arbitration costs have not risen to obscene levels, and despite a $5 million salary for 2020, it is prorated to just $1.8 million. From that sum, Bundy is owed right around $914,000, which makes him an inexpensive option. Bundy is also a free agent after next season, which is why the Angels are rumored to be shopping the veteran righty.
Even for just a season, the Cubs could make their splash to acquire Bundy. Due to the nature of what we have seen it is likely, teams will not be parting with top of the line prospects, and the Cubs have enough depth in various areas where they could ship someone out in exchange for the 27-year-old.
The starting pitching for Chicago has seen peaks and valleys so far this year, and a guy with Bundy’s value and low-cost could help to alleviate some of the pressure that the veterans are feeling. It would potentially allow for more rest for the more seasoned crew to get them ready for a deep October run. The Cubs would be silly not to throw their hat in the Bundy talks in the coming week.