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San Francisco Giants: Outlining the Madison Bumgarner trade market

DENVER, CO - JULY 2: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after being relieved with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 2: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after being relieved with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 16: Justin Verlander #35, Blake Snell #4 and Gerrit Cole #45 chat during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 16: Justin Verlander #35, Blake Snell #4 and Gerrit Cole #45 chat during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The Afterthoughts

While it’s hard to eliminate any contending team from the Bumgarner sweepstakes entirely, the following title-contenders have very solid rotations and outlying needs elsewhere. As such, their focus will almost certainly be on improving their positional or bullpen depth, not starting pitching.

Houston Astros

Since making the moves to acquire Justin Verlander in 2017 and Gerrit Cole in 2018, the Astros rotation has been one of the best in baseball. Those two currently front a staff that also includes Wade Miley, Brad Peacock, and Framber Valdez. The rotation as a whole owns a 3.68 ERA, good for fifth in the majors. With Lance McCullers also set to come back from Tommy John surgery at some point next season, starting pitching is the last thing that the Astros need to worry about.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Not only are the Dodgers set from a starting pitching standpoint, but the San Francisco Giants front office would never hear the end of it if they moved their homegrown star the boys in blue. If these two teams were to make a deal, it would only be the fourth ever since both teams moved to California. Even though Rich Hill has recently landed on the injured list, the Dodgers should feel no discomfort slotting Julio Urias or Ross Stripling in the rotation until he returns. Bullpen depth will be the primary focus for the Dodgers.

The Rest of the Afterthoughts

The Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays should both be happy with the way things have gone with their starting pitching so far this year, with the bullpen expected to be the focal point of their deadline dealings.

Teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks and maybe even the San Diego Padres could both use better starting pitching if they want to make a run at the postseason this year, but the Giants will likely try to avoid dealing Bumgarner to an NL West rival.

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