Max Muncy hit a towering home run off of Madison Bumgarner in the first inning of Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, and let’s just say the left-hander did not appreciate the way Muncy admired the feat.
With two out and nobody on, Muncy launched a 426-foot shot into McCovey Cove. He then flipped his bat and began slowly walking to first base, which drew an angry reaction from Bumgarner. The home plate umpire needed to step in.
This isn’t the first time Bumgarner has been bothered by a bat flip, so we’re not surprised. Some will say Muncy’s antics were classless, but the only sure-fire way to prevent them is to not give up a moon shot at your home ballpark.
The New York Yankees whiffed in their pursuit of Dallas Keuchel, and with Madison Bumgarner likely on the market at the trade deadline, one might thing that it would make sense for them to launch a pursuit.
Not so fast. According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, a source questioned whether the Yankees are “enamored enough” with Bumgarner to put together the sort of package it would take to acquire him from the San Francisco Giants.
Marcus Stroman and Mike Minor were listed as potentially more realistic targets for the Yankees to possibly pursue.
Bumgarner would be a flashy acquisition, but it would make sense if the Yankees go more low-key. James Paxton has been very good for them, but has injury concerns, while Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia have successful histories. The big key is what happens to Luis Severino, who is working toward a return. If he can come back healthy, it will solve a lot of the rotation questions, and would allow them to go for a more supplemental addition if they opt to make one.
The Major League Baseball trade deadline is roughly a month and a half away, but trade season appears to have started in earnest with the Seattle Mariners shipping Jay Bruce to the Philadelphia Phillies. While the trades won’t exactly come fast and furious from this point on, it is essentially a starting gun for a trade deadline that looks like a potential buyer’s market given the number of teams that will probably be willing to make players available.
Who will be on the move? Here are ten names to watch leading up to July 31.
10. Trevor Bauer, P, Indians
Bauer was perhaps surprisingly floated in trade talks during the offseason, but Cleveland ultimately opted to keep him while they make another run at a division title. That run has not gone well so far, with the Indians falling well behind the runaway Minnesota Twins. In Bauer’s case, again, it’s likely that things will have to get worse over the next month and a half for them to trade him. The Indians still want to try to get back into wild card contention, at the very least. However, if they floated the possibility of trading him once, they may float it again if circumstances dictate.
Bruce Bochy provided a reason for removing Madison Bumgarner after what is considered a low pitch count by Bumgarner’s standards.
Wednesday’s game between the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins is an example of when the box score doesn’t tell the entire story. On the surface, Bumgarner’s six innings pitched with two runs allowed and four strikeouts doesn’t look particularly alarming. However, manager Bruce Bochy noticed early on that it wasn’t going to be one of his star pitcher’s better days on the mound.
Bruce Bochy said he pulled Bumgarner after 81 pitches because “he was gassed from the third inning.” Bumgarner said he knew warming up that it wasn’t likely to be a good day.
Bumgarner wasn’t pitching on short rest. So, it may have just been “one of those days” for the four-time All-Star, who was removed after allowing a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning despite having thrown just 81 pitches. It’s worth noting Bumgarner retired the Marlins 1-2-3 in the sixth inning.
Bochy has been around Bumgarner long enough to know when he doesn’t have it on a particular day. He definitely saw something on Wednesday and acted on it while the game was still tied. The Giants ended up losing 4-2, with Bumgarner taking the loss.
It’s pretty clear that Madison Bumgarner still doesn’t think much of Yasiel Puig.
The two longtime rivals faced off Sunday with Puig getting the biggest highlight, a long home run that involved an epic bat flip that had a little bit more behind it given the opposition. It was Bumgarner, however, who nailed the one-liner after the game, taking a shot at Puig’s inability to turn on the inside fastball.
Bumgarner on Puig’s homer on a fastball in: “He’s a quick study. It only took him seven years to learn how to hit that pitch.”
Bumgarner and Puig have often been at odds largely due to their different styles of play, with Puig’s emotional style clashing with Bumgarner’s more traditionally-minded attitude. It’s going to be that way any time they match up, and it’s clear from Sunday’s events that even after Puig left the NL West, there is no love lost between the two.
There was definitely a little bit more than usual behind this one for Puig. He and Bumgarner have long antagonized each other dating back to Puig’s time with the San Francisco Giants, with Bumgarner not a fan of the outfielder’s eccentric, emotional style of play. The Giants ace probably won’t think much of Puig’s bat flip on Sunday, either, but they might not get the chance to see each other again.
That said, #SFGiants’ Bumgarner should be motivated to approve a trade: Any potential free agent traded in middle of season is ineligible for qualifying offer and exempt from draft-pick comp. List, however, gives him measure of control – if, say, he prefers #Braves to #Phillies.
The San Francisco Giants have stumbled out of the gate in 2019, and they don’t have the look of a contender in the early stages of a season. That could lead to serious moves if it keeps up.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Madison Bumgarner is one name that could be available closer to the July 31 trade deadline assuming the Giants don’t turn things around. Reliever Will Smith is also considered a potential July trade candidate, while the team is willing to discuss some of its veteran relievers already.
Also: #SFGiants telling teams they are willing to talk about some of their veteran relievers right now. Believe they have arms at Triple A who could perform at roughly same level. Bumgarner, Smith more likely to move closer to 7/31. Could be best starter and reliever available.
Bumgarner trade rumors have lingered for much of the offseason. Nothing came of it then, but Bumgarner’s contract is up at the end of the season, and if the team isn’t going anywhere, they’ll have every reason to explore the possibilities.
It’s worth noting that despite his health issues, Bumgarner has pitched fine whenever he’s been on the mound. Though he’s been limited to 38 starts since the start of the 2017 season, he’s posted a 3.29 ERA in those outings. He’ll be fine as long as the Giants don’t try to subject him to any “opener” strategy this year.
It’s February, pitchers and catchers are reporting for Spring Training, and Bryce Harper remains unsigned. The San Francisco Giants are one of the teams that have emerged as a suitor for the slugger, and one of their best players would love to have him.
“He’s obviously a superstar in the game, a young player,” Bumgarner said via CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic. “I think everybody in here would be pretty damn excited to have him.”
That’s exactly how everyone should feel about potentially adding Harper. He’s a great player who should make any team better. There could be another repercussion to San Francisco adding Harper; they might not feel it necessary to trade Bumgarner if the team is playing well.