Madison Bumgarner’s availability is an incredible opportunity for Brewers and Phillies

Madison Bumgarner
"Giants starter Madison Bumgarner delivers a pitch during the NL Wild Card Game." by apardavila https://flickr.com/photos/apardavila/30138795086 is licensed under CC BY

The Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers have had preliminary trade talks with the San Francisco Giants about a trade for Madison Bumgarner, according to Jon Morosi.

Morosi adds that the Giants would be looking for a high-end starting pitching prospect in return for their three-time World Series winner. Bumgarner has one year of club control remaining before free agency. He is owed $12 million.

The left-hander has been injured for parts of the last two seasons, but there is little concern about his durability. Neither injury was a result of wear and tear, they were simply unlucky.

The concern about Bumgarner is longer term. His FIP has been just a shade under 4.00 in the last two seasons, which is a stark increase from his career standard. His strikeout to walk ratio was down to 2.53 last season after being as high as 6.00 in 2015 and 4.65 in 2016. Velocity has dipped slightly too.

Any team that trades for Bumgarner this offseason will not be worried about his decline in 2020 and beyond. They are not locked in beyond next season and the 2014 World Series MVP will still be an asset to any team. The risk will be for teams offering contracts when he hits free agency after next season.

When healthy, Bumgarner is a lock for 200 innings. He threw over 200 each season from 2011 to 2016 and finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting on four separate occasions. There is no reason to believe Bumgarner will suffer another freak injury in 2019 and, while he might not be a Cy Young contender, he will give his team a lot of innings and keep them in games.

One season of Bumgarner for just $12 million is a great opportunity for Milwaukee and Philadelphia. They are not just getting a reliable lefty, they are getting the best active postseason performer. The prospect cost will be worth it for Bumgarner in the playoffs.

The Giants are not going to contend for the playoffs next season. Trading Bumgarner in the winter or at the deadline is a no-brainer. Making a deal now would likely recoup a better prospect package, so it is likely we have seen the big left-hander throw his last inning as a Giant.


San Francisco will have high hopes for the return for Bumgarner. His postseason brilliance should boost his value compared to other one-year rentals. Milwaukee should go all in, while Philadelphia will probably be more cautious with their window just opening.

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About Sam Cox 453 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.