The Giants have had substantive talks with the Brewers regarding a trade for Madison Bumgarner, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Though there is no guarantee that the Giants trade Bumgarner this winter, Morosi says Milwaukee will be his most likely destination if they do.
It’s easy to see how trading Bumgarner to the Brewers, who is in the final season of a contract scheduled to pay him $12 million, could be mutually beneficial. Despite depth in their rotation, The Brewers lack a top-end starter. The Brewers went 96-67 last season, winning the NL Central and reaching Game 7 of the NLCS before losing to the Dodgers. It stands to reason that adding Bumgarner could provide the boost Milwaukee needs to make it to the World Series in 2019.
The Giants, meanwhile, are likely enticed by the Brewers’ minor-league depth in the outfield. Three of Milwaukee’s top six prospects — No. 2 Corey Ray, No. 5 Tristen Lutz and No. 6 Joe Gray — are outfielders. San Francisco currently has just one everyday outfielder — projected starting centerfielder Steven Duggar — on their roster.
It’s possible the Giants would rather wait until closer to the trade deadline to move Bumgarner, when teams may be willing to offer more for his services, in the hopes of making a postseason push. That strategy is not without risk for the Giants, who would need a productive, injury free first half to ensure there is a competitive market for their ace.
Bumgarner went 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.24 WHIP last season.