Yankees: Trade for Madison Bumgarner or sign Dallas Keuchel?

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Miller Park on September 9, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Miller Park on September 9, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

One of the potential trade targets for the New York Yankees in the coming weeks could be Madison Bumgarner. Who is the Giants ace left-hander?

It was a chilly night in late October of 2014, the Yankees had missed the playoffs that season, but the World Series that season was one of the best in recent memory.

The San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals had brought the Fall Classic to its epic climax and the two greatest words in sports: GAME 7.

In the top of the 4th inning, the Giants would take the lead to make it 3-2. But now the Giants had to hold onto their marginal lead in a win-or-go-home game on the road. So they turned to their ace.

MadBum (who was on just two days rest) was simply fabulous. He threw five shutout innings, striking out four, giving up just two hits, and recording the save. It will go down as one of the most clutch postseason appearances of all time.

Back to the present; four and a half years later, the ace of the Giants pitching staff is now on the trade block. The past couple of seasons for the Giants have been disappointing ones. The core that the previous title runs were anchored by is now getting up there in age, big free agent signings have not worked out, and their farm system is not close to elite.

Even Bumgarner has been on a steady decline for the past few seasons but still, teams are hoping he still has some of his playoff heroics left for another big run. One of the teams tied to a MadBum trade for a while has been the Yankees.

In just the past few years, the Yanks have made some pretty big moves to acquire some of the biggest arms on the market. Sonny Gray, J.A Happ, and James Paxton are a few examples. Some paid off, some did not.

MadBum created a no-trade list, which surprisingly only includes competitors like the Yankees, Red Sox, Brewers, Cubs, etc, according to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network. This does not mean he will not reject a trade to one of these teams. It means he CAN. There are a few potential reasons why he would put only competitors on the list.

One possibility is that he does not want to be traded and the only teams that would trade for a 29-year-old pitcher are teams in position to win now, most of which are on ‘the list’. Another possibility is that he wants to control which exact team he goes to. Because likely the only teams that will try to trade for him are on the list, he can hand-pick which destination he prefers.

Contract wise, it would behoove him to waive the no-trade clause, thereby foregoing the Qualifying Offer and removing the potential draft pick which would have been attached to him had he signed with a team other than his original team. As this past offseason has shown us, teams take the pick that they would have to forfeit very seriously, and that may be the reason why former Houston Astros ace and 2015 Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel is still a free agent.

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On that note; once the MLB First-Year Player Draft has commenced (June 5), the potential draft pick attached to closer Craig Kimbrel and Keuchel will no longer be a factor. Teams that hadn’t pursued these elite hurlers because of the compensation pick they’d forfeit are likely going to go after them. Should the Yankees be one of those teams?

The 2019 season is all about ‘Ring 28’ and the postseason. The Yankees need a spotlight pitcher who thrives in crunch time. Lucky for them, two of the best are on the market in Bumgarner and Keuchel.

Bumgarner, who came up to the big leagues as a 20-year-old, has played a few more seasons than Keuchel and has also thrown many more postseason innings than him. Keuchel, on the other hand, came up as a 24-year-old, and in his 3rd full season won the AL Cy Young Award.

Number wise, Bumgarner blows Keuchel away with his playoff numbers:

  • Dallas Keuchel: ERA – 3.31 (3.60 if you remove his games versus the Yankees), IP – 51.2, W/L 4-2.
  • Madison Bumgarner: ERA – 2.11, IP 102.1, W/L 8-3.

There are two reasons to go after Keuchel as opposed to Bumgarner.

  1. You won’t have to face him in the playoffs anymore. Keuchel has had the Yankees number throughout his career.
  2. You won’t have to trade any assets to acquire him.

In general, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman is not passive when it comes to trades, and for the most part, they have paid off very well for the Yankees;

Below are two lists of active players by position.

This is a list of the best players that Cashman has acquired via trade.

This is a list of notable players that Cashman has traded away.

  • 1B, Tyler Austin
  • 2B, Starlin Castro
  • 3B, Brandon Drury
  • OF, Melky Cabrera
  • OF, Billy McKinney
  • RP, Andrew Miller

The players that the Yankees have received versus the players they have given away are proof that Brian Cashman knows what he is doing. Because Bumgarner has a no-trade clause, the Giants don’t have much leverage in trade talks, and similar to the Giancarlo Stanton deal, the Yankees might not need to give up much to get the star pitcher.

Next. Brian Cashman top five trades over the past five years. dark

Please, write in the comments what you think the Yankees should do.

  • A) Madison Bumgarner
  • B) Dallas Keuchel
  • C) Neither