From 2007-12, the Orioles had successful drafts. Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Mychal Givens, Manny Machado and Kevin Gausman were all high draft picks. So was Dylan Bundy.
Bundy was the fourth overall choice in 2011. The Orioles gave Bundy a $4 million signing bonus and a major league contract when he signed.
Four years later, Bundy is still as important to them as he was in Aug. 2011, but due to Tommy John surgery and its aftermath, all he has to his credit are two brief major league appearances in Sept. 2012.
When the Orioles gave Bundy a major league contract, it was standard operating procedure for top prospects. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was signed not long after Bundy joined the organization prohibits signing of major league contracts for drafted players.
By now, the Orioles expected Bundy to be a major part of their rotation, not someone they’d have to carefully monitor in the Arizona Fall League.
Bundy breezed through a scoreless inning on Monday and he’ll pitch a few more times for the Peoria Javelinas. If he comes through that, then the Orioles will probably get another look at January’s minicamp and spring training a month later.
Since Bundy had Tommy John surgery in June 2013, he’s pitched just 63 1/3 innings. This year, he threw 22 in eight brief starts for Bowie before he was shut down.
If things worked well, Bundy could have joined the Orioles late in the season. Now, because of his contract, Bundy must stay on the Orioles 25-man roster or be exposed to waivers.
Bundy would certainly be snapped up by another team. Despite his injuries, he’s valued highly by other teams, and by the Orioles, too.
Later this month, Bundy turns 23, and he’s far from being a polished major league pitcher.
He’ll start 2016 in the Orioles bullpen; he doesn’t have the innings built up to be a starter. Or, he could stay down in Sarasota to try and build himself up for a bit.
The disabled list would only be a temporary solution.
With openings likely in the bullpen, the Orioles would like to see Bundy there. As they have in the past, they may try to add someone from the Rule 5 draft. It would be difficult for the Orioles to keep both Bundy, who’ll be under restrictions, and another Jason Garcia type on the roster.
If Bundy has an injury-free 2016, perhaps he can move into the starting rotation, and finally the attention they’ve paid to him will be repaid.
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