Like last offseason, the MLB hot stove has been pretty cold, and writers like myself have begun speculating to make up for the lack of substantive news. As long as we’re talking rumors, let’s talk Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.
On Monday, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported that, if the Giants were to trade Bumgarner before Spring Training, they would most likely move him to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Giants do not have a history of trading away stars, especially homegrown ones, but their new GM Farhan Zaidi is something of an unknown quantity, and fans and writers alike are waiting to see how his personality impact the franchise’s tendencies.
Zaidi has inherited a team with a subpar farm system, several high salary players, and two sub-.500 finishes in two years, and he may decide to break tradition by trading a house name like Bumgarner in order to help along a rebuild. But, their offseason moves thus far haven’t indicated that they are moving in that direction — they’ve only added eight low profile players. So the notion that they will move Bumgarner before the start of the season to jumpstart a rebuild seems unlikely.
The more likely scenario is that San Francisco starts the season with Bumgarner, and competes. They are still a talented bunch, and barring key injuries they could actually compete for a playoff spot in an NL West that underwhelmed a lot of analysts in 2018. The best case scenario is that they go out and win, and Bumgarner pitches well. That way, they can see where they sit come September, and either keep the lefty for a playoff run, or trade him to a contending team in need of a starter with (historic) playoff experience.