We are six weeks away from the MLB trade deadline, and the conversation surrounding the Giants’ handful of trade chips is starting to heat up. One of the players at the top of the list is ace Madison Bumgarner, who in the last year of his contract has been the subject of trade rumors since the offseason.
Though not the dominant force he once was, Bumgarner is still a solid top-end starter, with a 1.17 WHIP and an 8.7 Ks per nine innings average in 15 starts this season. He’s also one of the most dominant postseason pitchers in major league history, and should entice a number of contenders to send over a prospect or two for his services this October.
Longtime MLB columnist Tim Kurkjian joined Murph & Mac on Tuesday morning and broke down which team the Giants are mostly likely to work out a deal with for the three-time World Series champion.
“The Yankees have to be at the top of that list,” Kurkjian said. “Their lineup is ridiculously productive when it comes to hitting the ball out of the ballpark, but I still think they’re one really good starting pitcher short of going into October as the team to beat, and that should be all that matters to the Yankees as long as it’s been in relative terms since they’ve won. The question is, how much are they willing to give up?”
Kurkjian believes the Giants should target recently demoted power-hitting outfielder Clint Frazier. Frazier, 24, is actually having the best season of his young career, posting a slash line of .283/.330/.513. Frazier was sent down to make room for the recently acquired Edwin Encarnacion.
“Now Clint Frazier just got sent to the minor leagues a couple days ago,” Kurkjian said. “He’s got 11 home runs, he’s a really good young hitter, not a particularly good outfielder. It has to start with him.
“I had an executive tell me the other day, ‘There’s no way the Yankees would trade Frazier even up for Bumgarner.’ I think it’s the opposite. I think the Giants would need Frazier and at least another top prospect before they’re gonna move Bumgarner, even in a rental situation.”
For the Yankees, Kurkjian believes the deal would be a no-brainer.
“You have to take a chance if you’re the Yankees on someone like Bumgarner finding whatever he’s had in the past, and being that good in October. Because I think they’re going to need somebody great if they’re going to beat the Astros and the Dodgers and whoever else that’s going to prevent them from winning the World Series.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Tim on Bumgarner, start from 4:15.