Anyone else tired of this transaction drought? No? Just me? Oh well.
Since the most exciting 30 minutes of the entire offseason, when the Braves reunited with Brian McCann and signed former MVP Josh Donaldson, the front office has been nothing if not invisible. We’re approaching the 30-day mark to spring training, and there is still a lot left to be done. One specific weak area that needs addressing: pitching. If the season were to begin tonight, our rotation would be as follows: Foltynewicz, Gausman, Teheran, Newcomb, Toussaint/Wright/Soroka/etc.; so there’s an obvious need for a front of the line starter or even a top 3 arm with consistently low-to-average WHIP and a proven track record. That’s where Madison Bumgarner could come into play.
Bumgarner is nothing short of an ace, and coming off an injury-plagued 2018, his price is presumably lower. With an ERA of 3.06 over the last four seasons and a WHIP never rising above 1.250, Bumgarner is a quality arm with controllability until the end of the 2019 season. Even though his asking price has lowered over the years, it doesn’t mean he’s cheap; the Giants will be looking for a hefty return for the World Champion ace. Atlanta has the prospect depth AND the need. San Francisco has the desire for a deeper farm system, so a deal makes sense. BUT…what would a deal look like that both Atlanta and San Fran would consider? Let’s take a look.
Trade 1: Kyle Wright, Luis Gohara, Huascar Ynoa for Madison Bumgarner
As you can see, the return San Francisco theoretically gets isn’t TOO weighted; we saw Gohara struggle throughout the 2018 season, and sources say it doesn’t look like he’s improving too well. His value is not forgotten though, and a change of scenery could prove beneficial for Gohara and his rehab. Wright is MLB-ready, and Bumgarner could be the ace the Braves haven’t had in a long time. It makes sense.
Trade 2: Kolby Allard, Joey Wentz, Patrick Weigel for Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith
This appears a safer option for Atlanta’s depth while giving San Francisco their top pitching prospect that is MLB-ready. The Giants can develop the other two over the next two seasons to provide themselves with a dependable rotation or bullpen options. That’s my humble opinion; Anthopoulos may not be too crazy about the idea and want an addition in return. That’s where someone like Will Smith could come in. Atlanta still needs the gap in their bullpen filled, and Smith could easily be that guy.
Trade 3: Bryse Wilson, Tristen Beck, CJ Alexander for Madison Bumgarner
This could potentially be the one that works the best. Wilson and Beck would fit well in the Giants farm system and could easily see a rotation in the next two to three years. With Camargo as the super utility man, Donaldson at third and Riley grinding his way through Atlanta’s farm system, Alexander could be the next third baseman the Giants are looking for. San Fran has a need at third base that hasn’t been rectified, other than bringing a past-his-prime panda named Pablo Sandoval back. Having a solid infield prospect that could work his way quickly to the big league roster is a massive plus for the Giants, without leaving a giant void in the Atlanta system.