With the 2019 Major League Baseball trade deadline fast approaching, it’s that time of year when the trade rumors start heating up. As a result, contending teams will be looking to acquire veteran stars from non-playoff teams to improve their playoff push and chance of getting a ring. However, these veteran stars come with a hefty price tag. Non-contenders will be looking to stock up their farm systems and get as much young talent as possible in return. Even when an aging player is in the final year of their contract, the selling team will still often get quite a return in young talent One veteran star in the last year of his contract that will more than likely be dealt for a big price before the July 31st deadline is San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
Resume of Madison Bumgarner
Bumgarner is coming off a remarkable 10-year run with the Giants where the lefty was the ace of the pitching staff and helped bring the city of San Francisco three World Series titles. He holds a career record of 113-89 and 3.08 ERA — as well as 1,681 strikeouts and a 30.5 WAR. He also possesses a reputation as one of the best postseason pitchers of all time – posting an 8-3 record and a 2.11 ERA — as well as three complete-game shutouts in 102 1/3 IP. For this reason, whichever team that acquires Bumgarner will be getting a pitcher who knows how to win in the big games.
Five Possible Trade Destinations for Madison Bumgarner
The Atlanta Braves are one of the more intriguing teams in the Bumgarner trade sweepstakes. The Braves recently won the Dallas Keuchel sweepstakes, but it has been reported the Braves might not be done looking at other outside options for their starting rotation. Mark DeRosa of MLB Network predicts that the Braves are not done after getting Keuchel, and he expects the Braves to acquire Bumgarner before the deadline. Although Bumgarner placed Atlanta on his eight-team no-trade list, it would be surprising if he declined a chance to play in Atlanta and team up with breakout rookies Mike Soroka and Max Fried. The Braves have the farm system (currently ranked third by MLB.com) in place to pay the hefty price it will take to get a player of Bumgarner’s caliber, but the question is, are they willing to give up what it would take to bring him in?
“I love the addition of Keuchel, but that’s just the appetizer. The main course is showing up July 31st.”
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 7, 2019
The Milwaukee Brewers have been linked to Bumgarner since before Spring Training. It was reported in early January by Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com that the Giants and Brewers were having “substantive communication” regarding a trade that would’ve sent Bumgarner to Milwaukee before talks eventually broke down. The Brewers farm system isn’t as strong as the other teams on this list, but they have enough to make the Giants think twice if they decide to make an offer at the deadline. Obviously, this didn’t work out the first time, but don’t be surprised if the Brewers re-enter the trade discussion by July 31st.
New York Yankees
After losing in the Keuchel sweepstakes, the New York Yankees have emerged as the most likely favorite to sign Bumgarner. Out of all the teams interested in Bumgarner, the Yankees make the most sense. They have been linked to him throughout the season, and they have enough prospects to pay the price if they are willing. Also, adding Bumgarner would give the Yankees a much-needed boost in their starting rotation. However, it has been reported that the Yankees are not “enamored” with him enough to pay the Giant’s asking price. If the Yankees do decide to trade for Bumgarner, it’s hard to imagine that he would veto a chance to chase another World Series ring with the Yankees in the Bronx.
After a great start to the season, the Philadelphia Phillies are in a downslide. Injuries have plagued Philadelphia, and it has caused them to retreat to second place behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. If the Phillies want to contend in the NL East and attempt to slow down the Braves, getting a pitcher like Bumgarner would help accomplish this. Adding Bumgarner with Phillies ace Aaron Nola would make a powerful 1-2 punch in the Philadelphia rotation.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays might not be the favorite to land Bumgarner, but don’t count them out just yet. The Rays have the farm system it takes to pull off this kind of move — as their farm system is ranked second in MLB by ESPN Insider Keith Law. Although Tampa Bay ranks number one in team ERA, adding Bumgarner would give them further help in a division that also consists of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
— LastWordOnSports Inc (@lastwordonsport) May 15, 2019
Embed from Getty Images