Madison Bumgarner is arguably the player most synonymous with the Giants’ three-World-Series-in-five-years run of dominance during the first half of this decade, and at age 29, he’s still a very capable front-line starting pitcher, even if he’s not the perennial Cy Young candidate he was a few years ago.
But Bumgarner is a free agent for the first time following this season, and the Giants are unlikely to be suitors for his services moving forward due to the fact that they’re going through a kinda-sorta rebuild and new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is much more risk-averse with giving big contracts to aging veterans than San Francisco’s old administration was. With the Giants being out of the playoff race, that means Bumgarner is all but guaranteed to be dealt before the end of the month, and he’s almost certainly the best rental starter available via the trade market this summer.
Bumgarner has been exceptionally consistent throughout his career (3.09 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 273 appearances spanning 11 seasons), but the biggest thing he’ll be remembered for — and something that will inspire excitement for the fans of whatever team acquires him — is his dominance in the postseason. The three-time World Series champ has a 2.11 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over 102.1 innings in the playoffs. He’s allowed no earned runs and has two complete games in two NL Wild Card Game starts, and he has a ridiculous 0.25 ERA with just 14 hits and five walks allowed over 36 career World Series innings (four starts and one relief appearance).
Though Bumgarner’s been less efficient than in years past and appears to be getting punished by the juiced ball this year (he’s on pace to set a career high in homers allowed), his numbers are still solid (4.02 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 9.3 strikeouts and 2.0 walks per nine over 109.2 innings), and he made five quality starts in June, including a seven-inning, one-run gem against the Diamondbacks on Sunday. There’s also the obvious mystique of him being a legendary postseason pitcher, and while that might not make him that much more valuable in the eyes of cold-hearted, analytically-driven front offices, it has to at least be a tiebreaker if a team is deciding whether to go all-out for Bumgarner or, for example, Zack Wheeler.
With there being a shortage of good starting pitching around the league this year, there will be plenty of suitors for Bumgarner. So where do you think the Giants will trade their longtime ace later this month?
Where will the Giants trade Madison Bumgarner?
This poll is closed
He’s not getting traded