Milwaukee Brewers Trade Target: Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers are likely to be involved in both the free agent and trade markets this winter as they search for potential rotation upgrades. That search may take them to San Francisco.
The San Francisco Giants are stubbornly trying to avoid a rebuild. They’re a big market club that should be contending every year like the Dodgers and Yankees, but a teardown should be inevitable. If they choose to rebuild, they could send ace Madison Bumgarner out of town in a trade and the Milwaukee Brewers could make sense as a trade partner.
Bumgarner’s name is likely to be thrown around a lot during the Hot Stove season. With the Giants in a seemingly obvious position and the market lacking options to front a rotation, he” have good value.
Why Should The Brewers Want Bumgarner?
For a year or two now, the Brewers have been seeking a top of the rotation arm to lead this team and become their dominant, go-to starting pitcher. They haven’t found that yet.
Bumgarner is a bona fide stud that’s left handed, young, and on a team friendly deal.
Over his career, Bumgarner has a 3.03 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 2.1 BB/9. Last season, Bumgarner posted a 3.26 ERA in 21 starts.
2019 will be Bumgarner’s age-29 season, which is also the final year of his contract. He had a club option for next year at $12 million, which is an absolute steal. For the type of pitcher he is, that’s an easily affordable contract for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Bringing in a left-handed ace with a history of postseason dominance could help put this Brewers team over the top in their pursuit of a World Series title.
Drawbacks to Bumgarner
Bumgarner has only made 38 starts over the past two seasons due to injuries. He missed time in 2017 because of a “dirt bike accident” that injured his throwing shoulder and only made 17 starts covering 111 innings. In 2018, he was hit with a line drive in the hand at the end of spring training and missed the start of the season.
Also, his contract is only for one more year. The Giants will likely want a significant haul if they’re going to move Bumgarner and it might not be worth it to give up all those players for one pitcher who has had a history of freak injuries that’s only under control for one season.
What Could A Bumgarner Trade Cost?
Bleacher Report tried to come up with a trade package for several teams to acquire Bumgarner. They suggested the Milwaukee Brewers would have to give up both Corey Ray AND Keston Hiura.
That seems like way too much for one year of control. There’s no chance David Stearns does that.
Giving up Corey Ray should be the only headliner the Brewers need to acquire Bumgarner. Hiura has so much value right now, that even though this deal is for an ace pitcher, he’s only getting traded if that ace pitcher is under multiple years of control.
The Brewers could offer the Giants a package of Corey Ray, Marcos Diplan, and maybe another mid-level prospect for Bumgarner.
If the Giants want more than that, David Stearns can look elsewhere for his starting rotation upgrades. Stearns has shown in the past he’ll stick to his price and isn’t willing to go over it. He’s not about to mortgage the future for one season. Bumgarner would be unlikely to stay in Milwaukee past 2019 if he were acquired.
The Milwaukee Brewers are going to look high and low for upgrades this winter to make this team a World Series championship caliber club. Time will only tell if Bumgarner is going to be a piece of that club.