By: Noah Wright
Giants’ veteran left hander, Madison Bumgarner is all but confirmed to be on the trade block this coming deadline, or even sooner. At this point, MadBum is a rental. He is on the last part of an extremely team friendly contract, and with the Giants likely going to be entering a full rebuild, he’s one of their most valuable resources right now. While Bumgarner isn’t the pitcher he once was, he’s still an effective asset. Even though he has a 4.05 ERA and 1.4 HR/9, the former ace has a solid 3.87 FIP, 1.200 WHIP, 3.84 xFIP outstanding 1.8 BB/9, and good 8.9 K/9 in 80 innings pitched. He has a great 4.94 BB/9 so far this season as well. Bumgarner is one of the most notorious postseason pitchers, so he will bring value to a team that is in potential contention. Another note I should add about Bumgarner is that he has a no trade clause for Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Phillies, and Cardinals. While it seems strange that he chose those teams, he chose them for a reason. He chose those teams in specific because more than likely, that’s his most preferred destinations. With some leverage in a trade, he might be able to use his leverage to get an extension from whatever team. Those seem like some obvious spots, so here are a few landing spots outside his NTC.
- Texas Rangers:
At the beginning of the season, the Rangers would have seemed like a strange spot. But as of June 9th, the Rangers are 34-30 and in the midst of Wild Card contention. A team that wants to stay in contention needs better starters than the Rangers. Most of the rotation is in shambles right now. Mike Minor is having an outstanding season, having a 2.55 ERA, 3.39 FIP, and 1.217 WHIP in 81 and a third innings. He has struck out 9.5 batters per 9, while walking them at a 2.9 per 9 pace. Lance Lynn is also having a solid season. Despite his 4.39 ERA, Lynn has a 3.17 FIP, and 1.338 WHIP in 80 innings pitched to go along with a 9.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. He also has a lower HR/9 than Minor with .8 HR/9. Outside of Lynn and Minor, Drew Smyly and Shelby Miller are doing absolutely horrible. Smyly has an ERA and FIP approach 8. Miller, who is a former Braves’ all-star, has an ERA at 9, and FIP at 6.31. Plus, it wouldn’t be much of a risk. The Rangers were in a rebuild starting the season. It wouldn’t cost any worth while prospects to acquire MadBum, and it’s not like the salary commitment is either long term, or detrimental to this year.
- Minnesota Twins:
The Twins are currently leading the AL Central, a division many though the Indians had in the bag, by a large margin of 10.5 games. Currently they have a 43-21 record. Unlike the Rangers, they have a solid starting pitching staff. Youngster Jose Berrios has a 3.14 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 1.084 WHIP, 8.5 K/9 rate, and 1.6 BB/9 rate in 83 innings pitched. But Berrios does have a slightly worrying 1.2 HR/9 rate. Jake Odorizzi looks like a Cy Young winner right now. Through 64 and a third innings, the right hander has a 1.94 ERA, 2.80 FIP, and .964 WHIP. He has struck out batters at a career high 9.8 per 9 rate, while walking them at a low 2.9 per 9 rate. Home runs haven’t been a problem for Odorizzi either as he has a .6 HR/9 rate. Martin Perez has also been a solid find for the Twins. He is currently pitching to a 3.73 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 8.3 K/9 rate, and .7 HR/9 rate, although he does have a 4.1 BB/9 rate and 1.423 WHIP. But Kyle Gibson and Michael Pineda haven’t been all that great. It would also help that many of their arms much, if any playoff experience.
- Tampa Bay Rays:
Now the Rays don’t really ‘need’ an ace level pitcher. Blake Snell was the 2018 Cy Young winner and is only 26. While he is struggling a bit this season, he was a bit injured this season. Before heading onto the IL, Tyler Glasnow looked like an ace. Charlie Morton has pitched like an ace this season, as well as Yonny Chirinos. Ryne Stanek has been a professional opener, and has done it very well. But the reason they should target Bumgarner is the same reason the Twins should target Bumgarner. Besides Morton, none of their starters have much, if any playoff experience. Knowing the monster Bumgarner is in the playoffs could really help the Rays go deep into October.
- Oakland A’s:
The A’s are only 2 games out of a wild card spot, and went without gold glove slugging 1B Matt Olson for over a month. Mr. 24/7, Khris Davis missed some time with injury as well. When they heat up, a large chunk of their offense could get a huge boost, and help their chances to win. But the pitching isn’t doing them tons of favors. Frankie Montas is the only starter to do well. In 70 innings, the 26 year old righty has a 2.83 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 1.171 WHIP, 8.9 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and .6 HR/9. The addition of a star postseason arm could also help the A’s go deeper in the playoffs.