The revamped front office in San Francisco may decide to move a legitimate ace that was inherited from the previous regime as they look to retool the San Francisco Giants roster ahead of next season.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com, long-time San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner may currently be available in trade talks. Even though Farhan Zaidi has only been the president of baseball operations for the Giants for just about three weeks, the organization has already held some form of trade discussions with numerous teams regarding Bumgarner.
Although the asking price for the three-time World Series champion is unknown at this time, Morosi indicated that the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, and Philadelphia Phillies have all contacted the Giants during the current offseason about the availability of Bumgarner. As the new regime in San Francisco is currently tasked with retooling an expensive, aging roster, it makes sense for the organization to entertain all possible trade scenarios.
Furthermore, as Bumgarner is currently scheduled to earn $12 million during the last year of his current contract, the organization may feel that they do not have an appealing roster to convince the left-hander to re-sign with the Giants. Due to this, the current offseason may be the best opportunity for Zaidi and company to receive the most value in return for their ace lefty.
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The Giants also currently have a lot of money tied up in aging pitchers, so re-signing Bumgarner may not even be an option for the organization (even if the competitiveness of the team was not a deciding factor for him). For example, Johnny Cueto is scheduled to earn $21.0 million in each of the next three seasons, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to earn $19.8 million in each of the next two seasons, and Mark Melancon is scheduled to earn $19.0 million in each of the next two seasons.
The Braves have seven pitchers within MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects, so they could end up being the best match for a Bumgarner trade as they could help the Giants retool both their rotation and bullpen. Although the Phillies have two pitchers on that same top prospects list, the Astros could end up as a more intriguing match in a Bumgarner trade if they are willing to part with a prospect ranked 8th overall in Forrest Whitley.
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If the San Francisco Giants decide to seriously entertain Bumgarner trade scenarios, it will change the landscape of the current offseason. Even though there are numerous impact pitching free agent options available such as Patrick Corbin, J.A. Happ, and Dallas Keuchel, acquiring Bumgarner would drastically improve a teams ability to reach the postseason. Zaidi will likely approach all trade scenarios with extreme caution as a trade of this magnitude would make or break the outlook on his first season as president of baseball operations in San Francisco.