Report: Braves have made Madison Bumgarner a priority
On the heels of back-to-back NLDS exits, the Atlanta Braves are serious about making a deeper playoff run in 2020. It’s pretty clear that they intend to start that run in free agency this year.
According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Braves have made free agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner “a priority” and are considered the “clear favorites” if he opts to leave the San Francisco Giants, the only MLB team he’s ever played for.
The Braves can offer Bumgarner his best opportunity to play close to his North Carolina home. They also explored trading for him in July prior to the trade deadline, though nothing came of it.
The question becomes whether Bumgarner wants to leave. He reportedly won’t give the Giants a hometown discount, and it’s not clear how close they’ll be to contention in the years to come. The Braves are already back-to-back NL East champs.
Bumgarner posted a career-worst 3.90 ERA in 2018, but still threw 207 innings and struck out 203. If the Braves want him, they may face competition from a key division rival.