Dylan Bundy is out for the season and most of next season after having gotten Tommy John surgery. This does not make him immune from his name being randomly tossed into the mill that is trade deadline speculation. After a flurry of weekend stories from the usual MLB reporting suspects that tipped the Orioles as an aggressive team heading to the July 31 deadline, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports keeps that rolling with this tidbit:
In any case, the Orioles’ aggression is notable. Sources say the team is even willing to move one of its top prospects, right-hander Dylan Bundy, for the right return.
Now that you're done screaming in horror, remember my standard rule: 95% or more of trade deadline rumors amount to absolutely nothing. This percentage becomes even greater as the deadline itself approaches, as reporters who are expected to write cast about to say anything.
We do not know what sources Rosenthal spoke to who indicated Bundy's availability, and we do not know what led those sources to say that. It is possible he talked to Dan Duquette, who convinced him that the Orioles would trade Bundy. It is possible he talked to a couple of random scouts who got drunk with an Orioles scout who, in his inebriation, proposed a trade scenario.
Bundy's name could have been leaked out of a sincere interest in moving him in a big package, or it could have been leaked as part of a plan to get a GM with a top player - say, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins - to call up Duquette and start the conversation with, "Well, if Bundy's available..." Yet those GMs may find the same thing that you would find if you went looking for the cheapest used car advertised in a newspaper ad: that car is not available, but why don't you look at some of the other merchandise while you're here?
What kind of trade return would the Orioles have to get for you to not freak out about Bundy being traded?
One trade that Rosenthal offers as pure speculation - keying off the Orioles' previously-reported interest in Jake Peavy - is Bundy for Jake Peavy and Gordon Beckham. Take a minute and go vomit. That's the only reaction that trade hypothetical deserves. You'll feel better.
While this hypothetical Bundy trade is not good, there are plenty of players where we would gladly wave good-bye to Bundy in order to acquire them. Bundy should be untouchable, more or less, but if the Angels called and offered Mike Trout for Bundy, you would take that in a heartbeat. Bundy for Stanton? Same thing. The other teams would never make those trades, but the Orioles should trade Bundy if, somehow, the "right" deal came along.
It probably won't, because most trade deadline trades involve short-term rentals for stretch pushes - like the Orioles' previous trade of Nick Delmonico for Francisco Rodriguez - but that does not always have to be the case.
Even among the top tier of prospects, there is attrition of pitchers. The quartet of Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, and Chris Tillman has turned into one starter in the Orioles rotation - and him still with question marks, though he did make that All-Star team. We've always wanted to believe Bundy and Kevin Gausman would be different, but that doesn't mean they will. There is always the chance Bundy would be at his most valuable to the Orioles as a trading chip.
The biggest reason to not want a trade of Bundy at this point is his injury recovery would probably lower his value, meaning a "good" trade for the Orioles is less likely to be offered. Trading Bundy right now would not be selling high. They should not move Bundy for any marginal upgrade - especially not the one Rosenthal speculated about - and I don't think that they will.
With the list of players being said to be shopped by teams who are selling, the Orioles should not be making any more trades at all. For better or worse, they're stuck with the team they've got. They are a successful team with frustrating flaws, just like everyone else.