As we head deeper into the offseason, it is always interesting to size up the trade and free agent market. Today we look at the ladder, more specifically, the man who could be the top trade target of the winter should he be made available.
Bumgarner’s Recent Performance
Mostly known for his postseason heroics, Madison Bumgarner has also finished in the top 10 for the National League Cy Young Award four times and made the same amount of All-Star appearances. As the games get more critical; Bumgarner raises his game to dominate at the highest level. In 102.1 innings, the North Carolina native sports a fantastic 8-3 record with a 2.11 ERA in 16 appearances (14 starts) in the playoffs. His ERA is an unbelievable 0.25 in the World Series to support his 4-0 record. His performance has been historic and has resulted in three World Championships for the Giants.
As previously mentioned, the 6’4” southpaw is also pretty dominant during the regular season as well. Bumgarner has a career 110 – 83 win-loss record, 1.108 WHIP, and 3.03 ERA since his 2009 debut. Since 2010, he has thrown over the 200 innings mark a remarkable six times.
Over the past two seasons, the 29-year old has had some bad luck resulting in unfortunate injuries limiting him to just over 110 innings in each of the past couple of years. Earlier this season ‘MadBum’ fractured his left (pitching) hand when he was hit with a comebacker by Royals infielder Whit Merrifield in Spring Training. Bumgarner also injured himself in an ATV accident on an off day back in 2017, resulting in a sprained left AC joint.
Why It Makes Sense For New York
New York fell short of the World Series in 2018 due to the lack of productive starting pitching. The Yankees are in dire need of a true ‘ace’ to lead the staff that is currently comprised of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia. Bumgarner is a proven veteran that would fit that bill.
The former first rounder is a big-game pitcher and could easily be relied upon if the ‘Bronx Bombers’ should find themselves in the American League Wild Card game for a third consecutive season, or go toe-to-toe with Houston’s Justin Verlander or Boston’s Chris Sale in game one of the American League Championship Series.
At a salary of just $12 million for 2019, Bumgarner comes at an affordable cost towards the luxury tax and could allow the Yankees to acquire another piece or two to gear up for the upcoming season.
Why It Makes Sense For San Francisco
Bumgarner is no question a fan favorite in the bay area and a legend to most Giants fans. The newly hired Farhan Zaidi will need to decide sooner rather than later on whether to trade, extend or attempt to re-sign the 2019 free agent to be next offseason. Most likely, the decision will be to deal Bumgarner as he is the organization’s clear-cut, blue-chip asset as the organization attempts to rebuild itself after missing the postseason in back-to-back seasons while having one of the games highest payrolls.
The Yankees could offer a package big enough package to pry Bumgarner away from the Giants. Top prospects such as Justus Sheffield, Estevan Florial, and Albert Abreu would almost have to be included in any deal. Possibly along with the promising young outfielder Clint Frazier. Simply put, San Francisco can’t afford to squander this critical opportunity to re-stock a very barren farm system.
If you can acquire Bumgarner without parting with Gleyber Torres and Estevan Florial, I say you do it. Those are my only two untouchables, as both players will be selected to multiple All-Star games in their promising young careers. I’d grudgingly part with Miguel Andujar, Justus Sheffield and pretty much any other frontline prospect the organization has for the Giants ‘ace’.
Bumgarner’s velocity has declined to 91.4 miles per hour this past season which is concerning after sustaining two injuries to his throwing arm over the past two seasons. However, he has increased his usage of his off-speed offerings and decreased his fastball use. His four-seamer and cutter are still effective pitches even with the diminished velocity, as Bumgarner has elite control of his pitches. This is in line with New York’s pitching philosophy anyway.
Madison Bumgarner is of baseball’s true ace’s, and a true leader who has been there and done that. The Yankees need someone who is a big game pitcher, and it doesn’t get any better than Bumgarner.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to send your thoughts/comments to me via twitter @Pags91. If you would like a specific player written up with our thoughts just send over a tweet!