As Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports, the Rockies are “poking around” the starting pitcher market, looking to add some punch to a rotation that has been quite effective this year but currently features four rookies. Passan writes that Colorado has checked in on Orioles starters Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.
The Rockies would certainly be buying low on Gausman, who’s having by far the worst season of his major-league career, having posted a 6.39 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over 20 starts. He has 88 strikeouts and 44 walks over 100 innings and is allowing 1.6 home runs per nine frames. Unless one of Colorado’s starters suffers an injury, it’s difficult to understand how he’d crack their rotation, especially since they’re set to get Tyler Anderson, Tyler Chatwood, and Chad Bettis back from the disabled list later this summer. But perhaps Gausman, who had a 3.86 ERA and held opponents to a .623 OPS while working out of the Orioles’ bullpen in 2013 and 2015, could find his rhythm in relief this year and then push for a spot in the Rockies’ rotation next spring.
In his first season as a full-time starter, the 24-year-old Bundy has unquestionably been the Orioles’ ace—not that that’s saying too much—through 18 starts. He’s posted a 4.33 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while striking out 84 hitters and walking 35 over 108 innings. His numbers would likely look just as pedestrian in Colorado as they do pitching in baseball’s toughest division, but he’d bring plenty of talent and a little bit of veteran experience (at least in relation to the rest of the Rockies’ starters) to the Colorado rotation.
Gausman is making $3.45 million this season and is under club control through 2020, while Bundy is making $1.64 million and won’t hit free agency until after the 2021 season.
Other controllable starters who could be on the move before the deadline include Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija, and Dan Straily.
The Rockies have one of baseball’s best farm systems and surely have the assets to acquire a controllable starter, though they’d likely be able to avoid giving up top prospects Brendan Rodgers and Riley Pint if they decide to deal for a middle-of-the-rotation option like Gausman or Bundy.