MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Buzz on Cole Hamels, Dylan Bundy and More

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels reacts after giving up a two-run home run to Oakland Athletics' Stephen Piscotty during the fifth inning of a baseball game Monday, July 23, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Mike Stone)
Mike Stone/Associated Press

We're less than a week away from the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, and the rumors are heating up now more than ever.

In fact, a lot have come to fruition and players are already on the move.

Most recently, the New York Yankees acquired now-former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Zach Britton, according to John Heyman of MLB Network:

And that's just the beginning. The MLB trade deadline is always filled with multiple trades, making it one of, if not the, most exciting trade deadline in professional sports.

We'll look at and examine some rumors surrounding three players who could be on the move come July 31.

         

Blue Jays Softening Price on Happ

Being 23.5 and 13.5 games out of the AL East and AL Wild Card, respectively, the Toronto Blue Jays are expected to sell off some of their assets.

One of those assets could be starting pitcher J.A. Happ.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Blue Jays have reportedly dropped their asking price for the southpaw:

While he may have gone five innings strong, giving up one run and striking out nine in his most recent start, Happ has struggled over his last six starts with a collective ERA north of 6.00.

Notably, he gave up seven earned runs to the lowly Detroit Tigers.

Look at his statistics as a whole, though: Happ possesses a 10-6 record, an ERA just a bit over 4.10 and a 10.3 K/9.

Happ could definitely help out a ball club looking to bolster their pitching staff.

Earlier this month, Jim Salisbury of NBC Philadelphia reported that the Philadelphia Phillies—the team Happ broke into the league with back in 2007—have interest in him.

After losing out on third basemen Manny Machado, they still have plenty of assets if they decided to do so.

Another team that could potentially have interest in Happ are the struggling Washington Nationals who, outside of Max Scherzer, have a less-than-stellar pitching staff.

Stephen Strasburg will be fine, but he's been in rough shape since coming back from injury, and Tanner Roark and Jeremy Hellickson are both struggling mightily as of late.

Bringing in Happ would cost a bit, but it could help push the Nationals to leapfrog the Phillies and Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

       

Rockies Eyeing Bundy

With multiple starting pitcher options with ERA's north of 5.00, the Colorado Rockies have put themselves in the market to bolster their rotation.

Being just 2.5 games out of the NL West lead, the Rockies could make a serious run at the division crown.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, they're targeting a pair of Orioles starters in Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman:

Bundy, 25, is an intriguing option for the Rockies. With his acquisition the Rockies would still have him under team control for three more years.

However, Bundy's HR/FB ratio is a bit of a concern at north of 16 percent, especially if he were to be playing in Coors Field.

One thing that sticks out about Bundy is that he's using his fastball at a fairly low rate. One thing that would certainly help his game would be to find a way to more effectively use his fastball by locating it better—something to work on.

A change of scenery, in general, could help Bundy, though Coors seems like a daunting place to do so given his track record this season.

      

Hamels Headed to D.C.?

According to John Paul Morosi of MLB.com, the Texas Rangers and Nationals are said to be in preliminary talks over a potential deal revolving around starting pitcher Cole Hamels.

However, it should be mentioned that Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post has reported that those rumors of "preliminary" talks are not true.

Either way, this would be an interesting trade for the Nationals.

We've already talked about their pitching struggles, and bringing in Hamels—who has given up seven earned runs in two of his last four starts—might not be an adequate option.

Hamels is in the final year of his contract before a $20 million team option for 2019, which you can probably expect the Rangers to deny if they keep him past the deadline, so they might as well trade him for something.

The Rangers would be wise to do so, but from the Nationals point of view, this doesn't seem like the best starting pitcher option to go after if they want to try to take the division down the stretch.

Hamels isn't the same guy we saw on the Phillies a decade ago.

Approaching 35 years old, Hamels is showing that his tank might be running empty sooner than we would have thought.

      

Statistics courtesy of ESPN.com, FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.

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