Yankees Rumors: Early talks held about Madison Bumgarner

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 04: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field on June 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 04: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field on June 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /
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Though it would come as a bit of a surprise for the Yankees to swing a blockbuster deal well before the July 31 trade deadline, according to The Athletic, they have begun a dialogue with the Giants regarding Madison Bumgarner.

Now that post-July 31st waiver trades have become extinct, many around baseball expect a flurry of activity to commence well before the sweltering summer heat settles in. For the Yankees, dealing for a front of the rotation type pitcher could happen sooner than anyone expected.

The news of the Yanks missing out on free agent Dallas Keuchel was only made exponentially more negative by Domingo German’s placement on the IL with a left hip flexor strain.

With question marks regarding the viability of James Paxton’s knee, C.C. Sabathia’s everything and inconsistent performances from Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ, the Yankees front office has begun to kick the tires on potentially acquiring an innings-eater.

Though Marcus Stroman’s name has been floated as a target, there’s more than a few reasons as to why he’s no stronger than what the Yanks have when fully healthy.

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And while some point out that Madison Bumgarner is no longer the lights-out, 94-mph pitcher he once was (you know, when he won three World Series rings and made four All-Star Game appearances), he’s still only 29 — and could be had for even less than the cost of Stroman (who is signed through 2020).

Therefore the Yankees interest is piqued, but they likely won’t overspend for a pitcher that can become a free agent after the season. Also, there’s the pesky fact the Mad Bum has New York on his no-trade list, which nine times out of 10 is a tactic used to extort a lucrative contract extension.

According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, the Giants dealing Bumgarner is “no certainty,” but it’s hard to see them holding on to a commodity that can leave for next to nothing this winter.

"“From what industry sources are telling me, Giants president Farhan Zaidi already has had a dialogue with some contenders, including the New York Yankees, and he made it clear the Giants will not treat Bumgarner as a yard-sale item that must be cleared off the driveway before moving day. The Giants will get the value they are seeking or they won’t move him.”"

At 26-38, San Francisco is already 17.5 games out of first place. Even if they believe a second Wild Card is worth holding onto Bumgarner for another month, eventually, the Giants will come to their senses.

Putting his 3-6 record aside, Mad Bum’s 3.83 ERA is adequate, while his 1.161 WHIP, 71.4 percent LOB and 84:17 K:BB ratio across 87 innings remain impressive.

Freak injuries the past two offseasons aside, Bumgarner is back on pace to reach 200-plus innings this season.

While his 13 home runs allowed, .300 BABIP and 36.9 ground ball rate thus far are a concern; there’s the realistic expectation that should Bumgarner return to pitching on a club with Postseason aspirations, that his statistics will improve.

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For those that are leery about his 92-mph four-seamer, which is featuring less sinking action than in seasons before, should the Yanks assemble a trade package that isn’t prohibitive to their minor league system, he and his vast, successful playoff experience would be a wiser investment than other names being mentioned like Jason Vargas and Aaron Sanchez.