© Stan Szeto | 2019 Jun 30
The Giants’ resurgence of late is making predicting what will happen at the looming trade deadline even more interesting. The Giants have won eight of their last ten and currently sit at 43-49, only 4.5 games back from the second wildcard spot. While the Giants have played well recently, the team still holds two of the most attractive trade pieces on the market this year in Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. Farhan Zaidi has yet to declare the team as sellers, but all signs point to the new President of Baseball Operations exploring the trade market for both of these pitchers.
Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic stopped by the Murph & Mac show Monday morning to discuss the direction he believes Zaidi might take as the July 31st trade deadline creeps closer.
“I do think that they are going to be moved as long as it is compelling,” Baggarly said. “I think these are players that can be difference makers and maybe the offers haven’t quite been there yet. Which is not surprising, teams are not going to give you their best offer on July 4th or July 8th. So we’ll see where the interest level is, but there is enough contending teams and teams that know they are in it that have quite a bit in their farm system, that I think it is going to be compelling in the end for the Giants to trade these players.”
Although he believes both players will be moved, Baggarly does see a possible scenario where Bumgarner could stay in San Francisco.
“But I think that they do have the pivot where it’s like ‘you know what, we can hold these guys. That is an option for us.’ Especially with Bumgarner because you look at where the game is going, you look at the value of a starting pitcher who can give you innings consistently and rest your bullpen, those guys have a lot of value. I think Madison Bumgarner likes it here, I think he would be willing to stay, if not maybe even prefer to stay.”
Bumgarner has been pitching well as of late, lowering his ERA from 4.28 to 3.86 throughout his last five starts. Even though both pitchers have had strong seasons, Baggarly doubled down on his opinion that both players are more than likely to end the season on different ball clubs.
“I do think those guys are going to be moved. Especially Will Smith, I have very little doubt they feel they can do that. Especially because they feel that those guys are replaceable both from what they have on the major league roster and what they have in AAA with some of the guys who are really performing well.
“And even in the low minors they have a lot of live arms they hope can develop as starters but if not then they can find a relief path. I think they see that as a huge source of strength and depth and they feel they can deal from that depth. And like you said, I don’t think there are a lot of fans who have Sam Dyson or Will Smith jerseys, who wear them to the ballpark religiously, mustard stains and all. But we know there are a lot of #40’s out there and that does matter.”
The Giants bullpen currently holds a 3.94 ERA as a whole, which ranks them at 8th overall in the MLB. A couple of the players in AAA that Baggarly could be referring to are Sam Selman and Fernando Abad. Selman has thrown 34.2 innings in Sacramento while boasting a 1.56 ERA. Abad, who has served as the teams closer, has 10 saves in 12 opportunities while holding a 2.97 ERA in 33.1 innings.
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Baggarly on Bumgarner and Smith, start from 4:10.