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.
Less than a week after winning the World Series, the Washington Nationals are already plotting their next moves.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Monday that the Nats are already working on trying to bring back World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and obviously want to re-sign All-Star infielder Anthony Rendon as well. Heyman also said that the team likes veteran pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler in terms of outside options.
While it is unclear if the 30-year-old Bumgarner and the 29-year-old Wheeler would be contingency plans in the event Strasburg walks, at least the former would be a solid addition regardless as a lefty arm to complement a righty-heavy rotation. The latter is also coming off a strong stretch of play, going 23-15 with a 3.65 ERA over the last two seasons combined.
Madison Bumgarner on Sunday received potentially his last standing ovation as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
Bumgarner is in the final season of his contract and will be a free agent this offseason. He was originally schedule to start Sunday but he and manager Bruce Bochy decided to scrap that in favor of a different plan. We learned later what that plan was — Bochy decided to have Bumgarner pinch hit in the fifth for Brandon Crawford so he could face longtime nemesis Clayton Kershaw.
Bumgarner tipped his helmet after getting the standing ovation.
Madison Bumgarner just came in to pinch hit against Clayton Kershaw in what might be his final appearance in a #SFGiants uniform.
Bochy is retiring and Bumgarner may be moving on, which ends a great period of rivalry. Not only were Bumgarner and Kershaw star pitchers for their respective teams this decade and competitors in the NL West, but the two also hit against each other. Bumgarner has faced Kershaw more than any other pitcher in his career (24 times) and has clubbed two home runs off him.
Madison Bumgarner’s proficiency at the plate may have just gone from impressive to downright mythic.
The San Francisco Giants faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday in a game that went down to the wire. Giants reliever Will Smith was called on to get the final out in the eighth inning, and once he did, stuck around for an at-bat in the bottom half so that he could remain in the contest to pitch the ninth as well. Kevin Pillar came up with a triple for the Giants to break a 6-6 tie, and then Smith followed with a two-run single (in his first career plate appearance no less) to make it 9-6. He then got the final three outs in the ninth inning to earn the victory.
Afterwards, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic revealed that the bat the All-Star reliever used to get the clutch hit was the same model that Bumgarner has, as he had requested that the team’s clubhouse manager order him as much.
Yes, Will Smith used his own bat. Clubhouse manager Brad Grems asked him awhile back what to order. “Just give me what Bum has,” Smith told him. That’s what he got.
MadBum is known as the league’s marquee “pitcher who rakes,” leading all active hurlers by a wide margin with 18 career homers. In fact, Bumgarner is so good at the dish for a pitcher that it has led to some wild anecdotes like this and makes it easy to see why Smith drew inspiration from him.
The San Francisco Giants are taking the Madison Bumgarner sweepstakes down to the wire.
According to Jayson Stark of MLB Network, teams in contact with the Giants say they are still talking about big trades, and are listening on Bumgarner with roughly an hour and a half to go until the trade deadline.
To say that the Giants have sent mixed signals on Bumgarner would be an understatement. They’re in a tough spot, sitting just 2.5 games out of the second wild card in the NL, and Bumgarner is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. They seem inclined to keep him for one last run, but have discussed Bumgarner deals with contenders. The odds seem to favor him staying, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point.
The San Francisco Giants entered Tuesday just 2.5 games back in the NL wild card hunt following their surge in the month of July, but they are still entertaining the idea of trading away their best pitcher.
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that the Giants are discussing a potential Madison Bumgarner trade with the Houston Astros.
Source says Giants and Astros "engaged" on Bumgarner. Amount of traction unclear.
The Astros already have one of the best rotations in baseball, and adding Bumgarner would position them incredibly well to make a World Series run. The left-hander has a no-trade clause in his contract that includes the Astros, so he would have to approve a deal if the two teams agreed to one.
Bumgarner has made it clear he does not want to be traded, so his no-trade list could actually complicate things if the Giants decide to move him. It would also be a tough sell for the fans with the team still in the playoff hunt, but Bumgarner is scheduled to become a free agent after the season. If the Giants don’t think they have enough to win a title this year, this may be their best chance to get maximum value in return for the former World Series MVP.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and umpire Joe West added another funny chapter to their saga on Sunday.
Bumgarner, who started against the San Diego Padres, was at the plate for a second-inning at-bat when he took a called third strike on a 1-2 count. West, who was behind the dish, rung him very casually, so much so that Bumgarner lingered in the batter’s box expecting the AB to continue. After about a seven-second delay, the former World Series MVP finally headed back to the dugout.
— ???????????????????????????????? (@Fawn_Liebowitz) July 28, 2019
What makes the incident especially amusing is that Bumgarner and West have a history. Most notably, they engaged in an epic staredown back in 2015 that lives on forever in our hearts as well as our memes. At least Sunday’s episode seemed a lot more good-natured than that one did.
But the even more pleasing scenario for the franchise is that they’re winning. They’ve gone 11-3 since the All-Star break, winning six games in extra innings to stoke their fans even more. They are 52-51 and have a three-game series with the Padres this weekend. How they perform in that series will likely have a say on whether they become buyers at the deadline, according to Feinsand.
For a team that was 35-47 on June 29 to turn into trade deadline buyers would be wild, but it would reflect the team’s improbable turnaround.
Madison Bumgarner has been arguably the biggest name to watch leading up to the MLB trade deadline, but the way the San Francisco Giants have come alive recently has most people thinking the left-hander is no longer for sale.
The Giants have won 16 of their last 19 games and now have a very real shot at making the playoffs. One rival executive told Jon Heyman of Fancred that there is “no way” they will trade Bumgarner amid their impressive streak.
Few see MadBum going anywhere now. Things can change in a hurry but this is typical from rival exec: “No way Giants can sell, they’re on fire.”
With their comeback win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, the Giants improved to 51-50 and are above .500 for the first time all season. While they have almost no chance of catching the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, they’re suddenly just two games out in the wild card race. Trading their best pitcher at a time like this would be a bad message to send to the fans and players in the clubhouse.
Even if the Giants did want to trade Bumgarner, it sounds like he is going to do everything he can to prevent that from happening. The 2014 World Series MVP is 5-7 on the season with a 3.65 ERA, and he has allowed just five total earned runs in his last six starts.
Madison Bumgarner has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that would allow him to block a trade to several MLB teams, and there appears to be a very real chance he could exercise that right if the San Francisco Giants try to move him to one of the teams on the list.
The Giants have been on a hot streak as of late and suddenly find themselves just 2.5 games back in the wild card race, but there has still been talk that they could look to trade Bumgarner before the July 31 deadline. One source that ESPN’s Buster Olney spoke with about the situation said he would not be surprised if Bumgarner blocked a trade “just to continue to be part of something he loves for the rest of his deal.”
“He could use the no-trade clause to extract some cash out of the Giants — a going-away present, you could call it, a final chunk of change for a player who has been worth far more to the franchise than he has been paid during his time in San Francisco,” Olney wrote Sunday.
Bumgarner’s no-trade list reportedly includes the Red Sox, Yankees, Astros, Cubs, Braves, Phillies, Brewers and Cardinals. If the Giants agree to trade him to a team other than one of those eight (and we know of at least one not on the list that has shown interest), there will be nothing Bumgarner can do.
By approving a trade, Bumgarner could actually put himself in a better position for when he becomes a free agent after the season. He would become ineligible for a qualifying offer if he’s traded, meaning any team that signed him next winter would not have to forfeit draft pick compensation.
Despite all that, Bumgarner recently sounded like a man who has no interest in starting fresh. If the Giants do end up trying to trade him to a team on his no-trade list, they had better be prepared for the deal to fall through.