Would the Milwaukee Brewers complete a trade with the San Francisco Giants for left-handed pitcher Madison Bumgarner?
A recent report suggests that the Milwaukee Brewers are the most likely destination for pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we should expect to see Bumgarner in a Brewers uniform by the time spring training rolls around. But if a trade were to happen, Milwaukee appears to be the most likely suitor.
Bumgarner is in the final year of his contract that will pay him $12 million and as the San Francisco Giants find themselves in the midst of a rebuild, new GM Farhan Zaidi is looking to bring in younger players.
Milwaukee could end up being a perfect trade partner for the Giants due to their depth in the minor leagues and need for a proven All-Star level starting pitcher.
Bumgarner by the numbers
Madison Bumgarner, who at one point was a top-flight ace in this league, would bring plenty of successful post-season experience to Milwaukee.
In the playoffs, Bumgarner has thrown 102.1 innings and holds an ERA of 2.11, while striking out 87 and allowing just 24 earned runs. He also went on one of the greatest playoff runs we have ever seen from a starting pitcher during the 2014 season.
However, 2018 was a bit of a drop off for Bumgarner in terms of production. He posted an ERA of 3.26 and a WHIP of 1.242, still respectable even though they may not have been to the standards that we are accustomed to seeing from Bumgarner.
Where we really saw the drop-off was Bumgarner averaged 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings, compared to his career number of 8.7. Additionally, he recorded 2.53 strikeouts per walk, compared to his career average of 4.13.
Some of this can be contributed to the loss in velocity that Bumgarner has experienced in recent seasons. At just 29-years-old, we have to wonder if we will see this trend continue in the upcoming season.
What will Milwaukee have to give up?
For a name like Bumgarner the Giants are going to have a steep asking price and it will be up to GM David Stearns to decide if parting ways with a top prospect or two will be worth it for potential short-term success.
It is known that San Francisco is looking to add to their outfield and Corey Ray would most likely be on their wish list. Ray is coming off of a season in which he was named the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Player of the Year, but he will still need some time before he is big league ready.
Other than Ray, it is not known who else the Giants may inquire about, but pitcher Zack Brown could be another option that they will be looking into.
However the risk in parting ways with Ray and others, is that there is the potential that the Milwaukee Brewers will only have Bumgarner’s services for just the 2019 season.
At this point, it wouldn’t appear likely that Bumgarner will stick around Milwaukee longer than he has to, as he will be able to get more money elsewhere and may not want to spend multiple years on the back-end of his career pitching in the hitter friendly confines of Miller Park.
Just like with anything, GM David Stearns is going to take his time and not make any rash decisions. Especially since it appears that the Milwaukee Brewers are the only team that may be willing to trade for Bumgarner.
As we get closer to spring training it will put more pressure on the Giants management to make a decision, otherwise they will be forced to wait until the trade deadline where they will get less of a return and also risk Bumgarner suffering an injury along the way.
Bumgarner could be what the Milwaukee Brewers need in their starting rotation, but acquiring him will come with a cost.