As the offseason approaches, several analysts have suggested that the San Francisco Giants should trade Madison Bumgarner.
Do these analysts, many of whom probably have watched only a handful of San Francisco Giants games in the last year, have a point? Or are they just desperate for content?
Recently an article was written for Bleacher Report which advocated the San Francisco Giants trading Madison Bumgarner to the New York Yankees.
This is nothing new. If you recall, Buster Olney suggested that the Giants should trade Bumgarner all the way back in April.
Obviously, it’s okay for others to share their views, but it doesn’t change the fact that their views are flawed.
If the Giants trade Bumgarner, they are officially giving up. They will have waived the white flag and officially admitted what we all know: that they cannot win with their current team.
This is not something that the Giants are intent upon doing. The only way I see Bumgarner getting traded is if the next general manager is somehow able to sell upper management on the idea that what the Giants would get in return for Bumgarner would allow them to contend in 2019.
That would be a tough sell.
The Giants’ rotation is unstable as it is. Really, Bumgarner is the only safe bet going into next season. Dereck Rodriguez is still young and going into a sophomore season in which opposing hitters could figure him out.
Johnny Cueto will miss most, if not all, of 2019 and Jeff Samardzija, Andrew Suarez, and Chris Stratton all have question marks surrounding them going into next season. Plus, Derek Holland could very well be pitching for another club in 2019.
Therefore, the Giants need Bumgarner so they still have a reliable ace in their rotation. Even if the Giants acquired someone like Sonny Gray in the off-season, that still would not provide the kind of security you want in a team’s rotation
Bumgarner and Buster Posey are two players that should retire as Giants in my mind. What they have done for the San Francisco Giants organization is incredible, and even more remarkable considering they were both rookies in 2010 and played such an instrumental part in all three World Series runs.
Perhaps we’re all, or maybe just I am, too attached to Bumgarner to be rational when considering trading him. But I think even from a rational, cold, unsentimental standpoint a trade doesn’t make sense.
With one year remaining on Bumgarner’s contract, whatever hypothetical team that acquires him would merely be renting him until he becomes a free agent and makes a boatload of money in the 2019 offseason.
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If the Giants still had three or four years of team control on Bumgarner, then I could see the Giants getting a big haul in return for an ace you could count on playing for your team for several years.
That doesn’t mean teams will not be interested in Bumgarner. Plenty of teams in a ‘win now’ mentality will not hesitate to have Bumgarner for one year with the hope that him and his postseason prowess can deliver a World Series title.
But my gut says that Bumgarner should be a Giant for a good long while. Sure, I’d be ignoring the fact that the last two homegrown aces who were rewarded with huge contracts didn’t quite pan out (Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain).
Yet, Bumgarner seems different than those two. His injuries have been freak accidents and his pitching motion doesn’t seem to have the same wear and tear of Cain’s or Lincecum’s.
Of course, Cain and Lincecum didn’t have many injuries before they signed lucrative contracts either. Ugh, it’s all so confusing and hard! Why can’t there just be a crystal ball that we look into and see that Bumgarner will be an effective and healthy pitcher for the next five years?
Even with all of the conflicting notions of history, nostalgia, and analysis, overall I believe that the best thing for the San Francisco Giants to do is to stick with Bumgarner. Now, a 2019 first half in which they find themselves out of playoff contention may make me more open to trading him so they can truly start to rebuild.
But as of right now, I believe Bumgarner needs to remain a San Francisco Giant.