30 April 2018

Is Bundy The Next Bedard?

I normally believe that it’s hard to judge a baseball team until about 100 games have been played. At that point, teams have had enough time to show whether their record is due to a lucky or unlucky start, and they’ve added players via the trade deadline. The one exception to this rule is teams that do terrible to start the season. It’s safe to say that those teams are likely not going to make the playoffs. At 8-20, the Orioles aren’t going to make the playoffs and are a threat to lose 100 games this season.

Baseball Reference’s “AL Wins Above Avg By Position” tool tells the story.
AL Wins Above Avg By Position Table
Rk Total All P SP RP Non-P C 1B 2B 3B SS LF CF RF OF (All) DH PH
1

6.2
BOS
5.2
BOS
3.9
TOR
1.7
NYY
3.4
HOU
0.6
OAK
0.5
OAK
1.5
OAK
1.4
NYY
2.0
TOR
0.7
LAA
1.7
BOS
1.2
NYY
1.9
BOS
0.4
TBR
0.2
2

5.4
HOU
3.5
HOU
2.8
BOS
1.4
OAK
2.6
TOR
0.4
BOS
0.2
TBR
1.2
CLE
1.1
BAL
1.2
LAA
0.4
TOR
0.9
NYY
1.2
LAA
1.4
NYY
0.3
NYY
0.1
3

3.4
CLE
2.7
CLE
2.6
TEX
0.9
HOU
1.9
TBR
0.4
TOR
0.2
SEA
0.9
DET
0.5
LAA
1.2
OAK
0.3
NYY
0.5
SEA
1.1
BOS
1.1
LAA
0.2
LAA
0.1
4

2.6
TEX
1.6
MIN
1.3
HOU
0.7
LAA
1.9
DET
0.1
MIN
0.1
CHW
0.8
CHW
0.4
HOU
0.9
BOS
0.2
DET
0.1
KCR
0.5
TOR
1.1
CHW
0.1
OAK
0.0
5

2.1
TOR
0.9
TEX
0.8
SEA
0.5
BOS
1.0
CHW
0.0
CHW
0.1
HOU
0.8
TOR
0.2
CLE
0.8
NYY
0.2
MIN
0.0
HOU
0.4
SEA
0.4
OAK
0.0
KCR
0.0
6

1.4
OAK
0.0
DET
0.4
CLE
0.2
TBR
1.0
CLE
0.0
DET
0.1
MIN
0.2
NYY
0.1
BOS
0.6
TBR
0.1
OAK
-0.2
DET
0.2
HOU
0.2
TBR
0.0
HOU
0.0
7

1.1
NYY
0.0
KCR
0.4
LAA
0.2
TOR
0.2
NYY
-0.1
LAA
0.0
KCR
-0.2
TEX
0.1
OAK
0.5
HOU
0.0
CLE
-0.2
MIN
0.1
DET
0.0
HOU
-0.1
DET
0.0
8

-0.6
MIN
0.0
NYY
0.4
BAL
0.2
SEA
0.0
SEA
-0.2
CLE
-0.1
LAA
-0.4
KCR
0.1
SEA
0.4
CLE
-0.2
HOU
-0.2
TBR
-0.2
MIN
-0.1
TEX
-0.1
MIN
0.0
9

-0.6
DET
-0.2
OAK
0.3
CHW
-0.1
DET
-0.4
OAK
-0.3
TEX
-0.1
BOS
-0.4
BOS
0.1
TEX
0.2
CHW
-0.2
KCR
-0.3
TEX
-0.2
KCR
-0.3
SEA
-0.2
TOR
-0.1
10

-1.0
LAA
-0.5
TBR
-0.5
OAK
-0.3
CLE
-0.6
LAA
-0.3
NYY
-0.3
DET
-0.5
TBR
0.1
CHW
0.2
MIN
-0.2
BOS
-0.3
CLE
-0.4
TBR
-0.7
TOR
-0.2
CHW
-0.1
11

-1.1
BAL
-0.5
BAL
-0.7
NYY
-0.4
CHW
-0.9
KCR
-0.4
HOU
-0.4
TEX
-0.5
HOU
-0.1
TBR
0.2
SEA
-0.3
TEX
-0.4
TOR
-0.5
CLE
-0.8
BAL
-0.3
BOS
-0.1
12

-1.1
SEA
-0.6
LAA
-0.8
DET
-0.5
MIN
-1.1
MIN
-0.4
TBR
-0.4
BAL
-0.5
SEA
-0.3
DET
-0.2
BAL
-0.3
SEA
-0.4
BAL
-0.6
OAK
-1.0
MIN
-0.4
TEX
-0.2
13

-1.9
CHW
-1.0
CHW
-0.9
MIN
-1.4
KCR
-2.2
BAL
-0.6
KCR
-0.7
NYY
-0.6
MIN
-0.3
MIN
-0.2
DET
-0.3
TBR
-0.6
LAA
-0.7
TEX
-1.3
KCR
-0.4
SEA
-0.2
14

-4.2
KCR
-2.0
TOR
-0.9
TBR
-1.6
TEX
-2.6
TEX
-0.7
SEA
-0.8
CLE
-0.7
LAA
-0.3
KCR
-0.3
KCR
-0.5
BAL
-0.7
OAK
-1.1
BAL
-1.6
DET
-0.4
BAL
-0.2
15

-4.2
TBR
-2.1
SEA
-1.0
KCR
-2.4
BAL
-3.7
BOS
-0.9
BAL
-1.0
TOR
-0.9
BAL
-0.7
TOR
-0.5
TEX
-0.7
CHW
-1.1
CHW
-1.1
CHW
-2.4
CLE
-0.6
CLE
-0.3
AVG0.50.50.5-0.10.0-0.2-0.20.00.20.5-0.1-0.1-0.0-0.1-0.1-0.1

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2018.

As you can see (if I got this tool to work right), it ranks the Orioles the worst in the AL at 4.2 wins below average. The Orioles pitching ranks 11th at .5 wins below average, with the starters contributing .7 wins below average (good for 11th out of 15th) and the relievers at .2 wins above average (good for 8th).  But the problem is offense, where they are 3.7 wins below average and are the worst in the AL. They’re ranked second in total shortstop production with 1.2 wins above average. Their next best showing is at DH where they’re ranked 11th with .3 wins below average. They’re ranked worst in 1B and 3B production, second worst at CF and PH, third worst at C and forth worst at 2B, LF and RF. Basically, if the Orioles can find another six starters on offense, they’ll be ready to turn things around. Otherwise, it’s time to think about 2019. As Matt K wrote, it’s time to make a plan.

2019 is looking like it could be worse than 2018. The Orioles are set to lose team leader Adam Jones, long time closer Zach Britton, long time setup man Brad Brach, and of course potential hall of famer Manny Machado. Machado has been one of the two bright spots of the Orioles season so far. According to Fangraphs, Machado has been worth 1.8 fWAR so far this season. He has a legit shot to earn 10 fWAR over the entire year. How many teams that have lost 100 games have had a ten fWAR player?

The Orioles have $56M allotted in guaranteed contracts to Chris Davis ($17M), Alex Cobb ($9.5M), Mark Trumbo ($12M), Darren O’Day ($8M) and Andrew Cashner ($9.5M) in 2019. None of these five players are particularly good at this point, and it’s likely the Orioles would drop each of these contracts if given the opportunity. Some of these deals, like Trumbo, O’Day and Cashner’s will potentially end after 2019. But the Cobb and Davis signing are going to haunt this club for roughly the next twenty years. Sure, they may end in 2021 and 2022 respectively, but the Orioles are likely to be paying deferred money to these players until 2035 and 2037. That $56M is likely to be at least a third of the Orioles payroll in 2019 and could be more. After all, how much should the Orioles invest in a team that has minimal talent, tanking cable ratings, and attendance that is on pace to drop by 7,500 fans per game (a loss of roughly $25M in revenue)?

The Orioles do have some young talent that could lead a future contender. Presuming that Machado isn’t in an Orioles jersey in 2019, the Orioles still have some talent on the roster. Schoop was good in 2017 although he’s a free agent in 2020, and Mancini promises to be a league average LF/RF for the next few years. Chance Sisco looks decent until you realize that he has a 40% strikeout rate, a .458 BABIP, a wRC+ of 110 and almost certainly a trip back to Norfolk in his future. The Orioles rotation is in better shape with a potential top of the rotation pitcher in Bundy, and a few legit back of the rotation starters in Gausman and Cashner. They also have Alex Cobb. Without a decent rotation or starting lineup, the Orioles bullpen is completely irrelevant.

Keeping Machado would go a long way to rebuilding this Orioles franchise, but there’s no reason for him to sign a long-term deal to play with a team that’s a threat to lose one hundred games even with him putting up awesome numbers. Instead, the Orioles will have to reload by trading him at the trade deadline, along with Adam Jones, Brad Brach and any other potential free agents with value. Jonathan Schoop, a free agent in 2020, should be traded at the offseason if he bounces back from his poor start.

But there’s only so much the Orioles are going to get in exchange for rentals. Machado may be the prize of the trade deadline if he keeps this performance up, but teams are only going to offer so much to get half a season of his services. And while players like Gausman, Mancini and Givens will still have multiple years of control remaining, there’s only so much teams will give up to get players that aren’t particularly special. If the Orioles are going to add a lot of young talent, they’ll need to trade Bundy.

Dylan Bundy will enter his first year of arbitration in 2019, and will be under team control until the end of 2021. At the same time, Bundy showed an ability to pitch most of a season in 2017 when he threw nearly 170 innings and is looking like he might have an excellent 2018. If so, he’ll compare reasonably similar to Erik Bedard. Bedard had a decent 2006 campaign in which he threw nearly 200 innings, before having a dominant 2007 where he was a Cy Young candidate. With two years of control remaining, the Orioles traded Bedard after 2007 to the Mariners in return for Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and a few other pieces that helped the Os have a successful run from 2012-2016. If Bundy can continue to have a strong 2018, perhaps he can net a similar return.

The Orioles do have decent pieces in their farm system, but there’s a reason why it was ranked 23rd out of 30 teams by Keith Law this offseason. It isn’t going to help that top prospects Sisco and Hays aren’t having good starts to the season, while Mountcastle has been injured. Bottom line, the Orioles don’t have enough in the minors to support their major league team in the near future.

The Orioles are looking at a pretty bad 2018. They’re looking at an even worse 2019. And they’re likely in a situation where they’ll require a long rebuild that will cost them considerably in fan interest and attendance. Still, they are where they are, and denying the facts will only lengthen the time it will take for them to build a new winner.

It’s almost certain that the Orioles won’t be able to build a winner in 2019 to take advantage of having Schoop under control. It’s pretty likely that they won’t be able to rebuild by 2021 to take advantage of having Bundy and Gausman under control. It’s questionable whether Mancini and Givens will still be effective in a few years. In short, the only sane plan at this point is to treat all their players on the current MLB roster as expendable and rebuild. A few years of high draft picks (which they’ll get whether or not they commit to a full rebuild) is what they’ll need to try and build a winner.

Which means that it’s fun to watch Bundy and see if he’ll turn into an ace. But the real question is whether he can become the Orioles’ next Bedard and bring back enough in a trade to help the Orioles rebuild.

13 comments:

Roger said...

The Angels lost 88 in 2016. If Machado does get 10 WAR then that is our win floor.

PTCello said...

Wise words. Do we know why the front office is so reluctant to heed them? They are intelligent too and they cannot possibly be unaware of all the elephants in the room.
Regardless of what Buck and Dan are saying publicly, they know as well. Why isn't anything being done?
Any ideas?

Aaron Smith said...

I believe you are under projecting Machado's trade value, even though he will be a rental, so the O's may not have to trade Bundy. Manny is a player that will immediately elevate a playoff contender into a world series contender, so the price tag should be high. Remember, the Yankees received elite talent in exchange for a Chapmen rental. The market should value Machado even higher as there will be multiple contenders looking for an upgrade at 3B or SS.

I agree though that a Bundy trade would generate a monster return, so the O's should definitely consider that move regardless.

PTCello said...

When the Astros clean the house, they clean the house. They traded every body except Altuve, and they may very well have kept Altuve because at the time he did not have much value. We should be selling out to the bare walls, and that includes trading Bundy.

Matt Perez said...

The price tag for Manny may very well be high. Although, teams don't seem to like to trade with the Orioles. But without Manny, the Os have an above average second baseman in Schoop (free agent in 2020 and another trade piece), an average left fielder in Mancini and perhaps a decent DH in Alvarez. So, we're talking at least six positions that need to be filled by prospects, and we haven't even got to the pitching yet. Sure, the Os do have a few prospects in Mullins, Hays, Sisco (not looking so good) and Mountcastle. Sure, Manny may net elite talent, but it's hard to add six pieces.

Not sure the 2016 Angels have a worse supporting cast than the 2018 Orioles. They had Calhoun, Pujols, Cron and Simmons. The Os have an injured Schoop and Mancini. Bundy will hopefully do better than Shoemaker, so that's a plus, but the rest of the rotations will probably draw.

PTCello said...

BTW, Cory Seager just had TJ surgery so the Dodgers need a SS. And they have tons of money, a Glamour Team, prospects to trade, and are currently not playing very well.

Unknown said...

Machado if they get a bidding war could fetch one really good prospect ( as Chapman did). Every playoff team needs pitching. The hard part is none of the contenders really need a 3rd or SS except the Indians.

Should sell off all the relivers at the deadline too. Os are great at finding them they should cash them in. Could get a nice hail for Givings if he pitches like he did last year.

Sell Bundy sell Gausman sell everything and reload for the future this teams window closed last year sadly.

aj barrell said...

Actually Seager just blew his arm out. Machado might be the perfect replacement for LAD. Just seen that after posting.

aj barrell said...

Machado and Bundy/Gausman/reliver might fetch a huge farm repairing haul from LAD who have the farm players to really bail the O's oit and speed up the rebuild.

Matt Bennett said...

I can see the merits in trading Bundy. But I think we should think about extending him right now. He is literally the first home-grown stud since Bedard. Guthrie and Tillman were serviceable but were traded for. Gausman isn't turning out to be what we wanted him to be. The reason our 2012-2016 window closed was because we couldn't evaluate/develop pitching and gave away Davies, Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Hader, Triggs, etc. Well we have a stud right in front of us and he gets better every season. Jones isn't part of the future Britton isn't. Mancini, Givens, and Gausman probably aren't either. But Bundy could be.

Jan Frel said...

Agreed. O’s need 12-15 pitching prospects in the minors (and 2 infielders). Bundy would net 4, Machado 2-3, Schoop 2-3, Britton 1, Brach maybe 1, Adam Jones maybe 1.... go get em. Because this crew doesn’t have what it takes for winning in the AL East

aj barrell said...

Honestly locking up any pitcher for what Bundy will cost with the Os staring at a rebuild would be a loss. Especially one with a injury track record Bundy has. He would want 20mil a year to give up FA for at least 3 or 4 years added onto his Arb clock. Trusting anypitcher to not break for 6ish years is a bad bet.

aj barrell said...

Trade him, trade everything and hope it goes like the Astros or Cubs. If they sit and keep everyone this is gonna be like the twins from early 2000s or the past 6 years Philly.