Bundy and Gausman are the future. We're not so desperate that we would trade away the future for a long shot at winning it all this year. Not even for a short-term upgrade to the starting rotation or the pen. I don't think the FO will trade them. Besides, although Gausman has had some good and some not-so-good outings, he has still been performing, overall, about at the level that you expect an SP to be -- maybe he's not acting like a TOR yet, but if a veteran, proven SP had outings like his MLB track record this year and was on the trading block, he'd be making a lot more money and worth a lot more. The fact that we're getting him for cheap is a steal. Trading him away would be anti-value.
Ditto for Bundy, except that (1) he's probably seen as less valuable because he's far less battle-tested at this point, and (2) we haven't had enough looks at him post-TJ to know what kind of pitcher he's going to be now.
I don't think we could trade Miguel Gonzalez straight up for any of the others without taking a net loss to our team ERA. Having an on-again, off-again affair with the sometimes-effective, sometimes-dreadful Gonzalez still results in more scoreless or under-control innings than dealing him for a closer. You would only want to deal a really, really terrible starter straight up for a closer; and nobody would actually buy a starter that bad anyway, so there's no point in looking at that from a seller's perspective.
I would love to have Koji back, but I also think Britton is doing a fantastic job. Yes, he did blow a save (and a game) recently, but two of the runs were pure luck and not the fault of his pitching. Against the best team in baseball. I don't think that getting Koji back, who is like 100 years old and could crumble into a pile of dust at any time, is preferable to having the young, healthy, and quite reliable Britton.
In fact, I'm really not sure why this vote is stacked with our prospects and one of our viable SPs in exchange for a bunch of relievers. Jorge De La Rosa from the Rockies would probably make a decent starter, given his performances in 2013 and 2014; it looks like he's able to eat up a lot of innings (I'm not looking at his stats in very much depth, but he's got some good IP numbers, especially this season). But who do you give up to get him? MG and who? And how do we know he's going to be an upgrade, and not flop?
My "biggest flop" award for the 2014 O's goes squarely to Ubaldo Jimenez. He's been just dreadful. He has the highest ERA of anyone who's started a game for the Orioles, and aside from a few minor league reliever call-ups (Meek, Stinson, Guilmet), he has the highest ERA on the 40-man, and the most walks of anyone in MLB. I would look to deal him and cut our losses while we can; maybe eat a fraction of his contract in return for taking him off our hands. Granted, we wouldn't get back much for him, but maybe a package with a minor prospect (not Bundy or Gausman -- is Gausman still a prospect?) would get it done. I wouldn't deal MG because he's bringing in positive value to the team (relative to his salary, etc) as far as I'm concerned.
Machado is "day to day". I think we have to decide whether that is going to grow into a 15- or 60-day DL trip before the trade deadline, and if it does, we should definitely look at upgrading 3B with someone who can hit. Flaherty is not going to get it done.
We also still don't have a second baseman who can hit the ball. Schoop talks big, but aside from tagging a few mistakes, he doesn't get it done. Worst OBP in the starting 9, and an ugly 0.6 WAR. Would I deal him? Maybe, maybe not. He may just need more hacks in AAA.
Overall, I feel like this will be a very low activity trade deadline for the Orioles. We don't have the money to buy a World Series by purchasing the best available on the market like the Dodgers and NYY always do, nor do we have the player value to deal for a big-impact player like a bona fide TOR starter or an all-star second baseman. I feel like most of the moves that we COULD potentially make, would be marginal at best, and would probably open up as many holes as they close. Not to mention that each trade incurs the risk that you're trading a known quantity for an unknown; whoever we get in return may simply not play well in this division, in this ballpark, or whatever. I have a "bad feeling" about it.
I'm fine with little trades that don't have much impact, like trying to get another backup catcher (I'm not saying we need one, just that it's an example of such a trade). Those are just Buck and DD strategizing. Shuffling a few pieces around here and there. But I don't think we will do anything that directly impacts our starting rotation or our starting lineup, assuming everyone stays healthy (the Machado question is in the back of my mind, though).
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board