Madison Bumgarner’s legendary tenure with the San Francisco Giants may be coming to an end, and these five teams should be all in for a trade.
They say all good things must come to an end, and for San Francisco Giants fans, it sadly appears that even World Series legend Madison Bumgarner’s career in the Bay Area cannot last forever. Staring down a lengthy rebuild, the Giants are left with little option but to shop the left-hander before he hits free agency at the end of the season. Bumgarner’s performance in three separate World Series wins will have him in high demand as contenders look to upgrade their rotations at the deadline.
After getting off to a bumpy start in 2019, the 29-year-old Bumgarner has settled back in of late. He is 3-1 over his last four starts and has allowed only four earned runs in 20 innings with 28 strikeouts and four walks. This has been vintage Bumgarner, showing off stellar command and grinding through opposing hitters.
As is his right, Bumgarner has submitted an eight-team no-trade list that includes nearly all of the biggest contenders. It’s not so much about blocking a trade for the 11-year veteran, but making sure he is able to put himself in the best position to succeed and extract a little value for himself. The Giants have made out like Bandits on the first 11 years of Bumgarner’s career, paying him only $57.5 million thanks to an extremely team-friendly extension signed after his second full season in the big leagues.
With Bumgarner, the reputation and track record more than speak for themselves. He is a consistent, proven winner who continues to produce despite logging over 1800 innings in his career, including the postseason. Any contender should jump at the chance to add him on an expiring contract, but these five stand out as the most likely landing spots.
5. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves suddenly have a serious challenge for NL East supremacy from the Washington Nationals. Though they do hold a six-game lead, the Nats have been on fire, and making up six games over the final two-plus months of the season is hardly out of the question. The return of Washington from the dead has to put some pressure on the Braves and will force them to take a long, hard look at their roster as the trade deadline approaches.
Led by arguably the best all-around offense in the National League, the Braves have been able to overcome some inconsistency in their starting rotation. An All-Star last season, Mike Foltynewicz was sent to the minor leagues after starting the year 2-5 with a 6.37 ERA in 11 starts. After appearing to turn the corner after coming over from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline last season, Kevin Gausman landed on the injured list with a 2-5 record of his own and an ugly 6.21 ERA and .285 batting average against.
The Braves did get some stability for their rotation by signing 2015 AL Cy Young Dallas Keuchel on the cheap. He is 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA through his first five starts. Rookie Mike Soroka has also been a godsend. Nailing down the final slot in the rotation could what puts the Braves over the top and keeps the Nationals in second place. Bumgarner does have Atlanta on his no-trade list, but it’s hard to imagine he would have a problem with joining the second-best team in the National League.