There’s reports floating around that the San Francisco Giants are at least willing to listen when it comes to trading star pitcher Madison Bumgarner. A trade would probably be best for the Giants long term, as it could boost what is a very thin farm system, but for now this is a case of I’ll believe it when I see it. Bumgarner is still the face of the Giants and the type of pitcher who can keep San Francisco competitive when he’s able to pitch a full season.
This would be an extremely bold move for the newly added Farhan Zaidi, and one that could turn some of the fanbase against him.
Still, since the reports are out there, here are five teams that should pounce on the opportunity to get one of the top pitchers in baseball.
Philadelphia Phillies - The Philadelphia Phillies have been linked to nearly every big name this offseason and are clearly interested in bolstering a roster that fell just short in last years playoff race. Patrick Corbin just visited with the Phillies, as the club wants to add a third pitcher to go along with Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. Adding Bumgarner would not only be cheaper at least for this season, but it gives the Phillies two of the best postseason pitchers in the game and guys you know will show up when it counts. If the Phillies are really going for it now, Bumgarner certainly helps put them in the conversation as a top-five contender.
Milwaukee Brewers - The Milwaukee Brewers made their postseason run because of their pitching staff, but there’s no true ace in that rotation and that bullpen can’t continue to be run into the ground. Bumgarner would instantly jump to the top of the Brewers starting rotation and allow guys such as Jhoulys Chacin and Jimmy Nelson to be the second and third options they truly are. Assuming Bumgarner doesn’t have another freak injury, he’s a guy who will go deep into games and even finish some at times, taking a lot of stress off that Brewers bullpen while keeping them fresh for when the games really matter. If the Brewers have the pieces to get a deal done, they have to pull the trigger.
New York Yankees - When the New York Yankees don’t win the World Series, they usually spend as much money as possible or make as many moves needed to improve their odds the next season. After already making a trade for James Paxton, the Yankees should do what it takes to add another ace to the rotation if possible. Heck, the Boston Red Sox aren’t going anywhere. Even with Paxton, the back end of the rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray isn’t exactly scaring the top teams in baseball. Put Bumgarner in pinstripes and the whole feel of Yankees starting pitching changes. The Yankees will realistically be ready to give their rival a run for its money.
Oakland Athletics - After making the playoffs last season, the Oakland Athletics should do what they can to add to this young core and build on the positive vibes. Fans are excited for a change! The A’s have a great defense, a deep and consistent lineup, and the bullpen is as good as it gets. The only problem with the Athletics is starting pitching. It certainly doesn’t help that Daniel Gossett, Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea all had surgery and probably won’t pitch in 2019. While there’s a lot of promise around this Oakland squad, a starting rotation led by Mike Fiers and Daniel Mengden makes it tough to breakthrough in the American League. The A’s have the farm system to complete a deal and keep Bumgarner on the west coast. The question is will this notoriously cheap franchise step up to the plate?
Atlanta Braves - The Atlanta Braves paid big money to Josh Donaldson and brought in a veteran catcher in Brian McCann. There’s rising stars in Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, as well as a pitching staff that finished seventh in team ERA (3.75) last season. The Braves have everything you look for in a World Series contender and should really be going for it in what feels like a wide open National League. Adding Bumgarner to a rotation that has Mike Foltynewicz, Julio Teheran, Kevin Gausman and Sean Newcomb would make the Braves the team to beat in the NL. Bumgarner is also from North Carolina, so he could be interested in a long-term deal given it's close to home. If the Braves want to go from the fun, young team on the rise to a team that has everyone on notice, they find a way to bring Bumgarner to the A.