When Madison Bumgarner’s eight team no-trade list was leaked early in the season, the assumption was that Bumgarner chose those specific teams (Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals) as a means of gaining leverage. By selecting eight teams that he thought were most likely to want him, Bumgarner would then force the Giants to compensate him into waiving his no-trade clause if a deal was struck.
A lot has changed since that list was leaked, however. Now with the Giants improbably in the Wild Card hunt just nine days from the deadline, word on the street is that Bumgarner might actually veto one of those trades not as a leverage play, but because he’d rather try and win another title with San Francisco than go elsewhere.
“In light of the Giants’ recent surge, one source says he wouldn’t be shocked if Bumgarner turned down a deal just to continue to be part of something he loves for the rest of his deal,” ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote on Sunday. “He could use the no-trade clause to extract some cash out of the Giants — a going-away present, you could call it, a final chunk of change for a player who has been worth far more to the franchise than he has been paid during his time in San Francisco.”
Bumgarner said after his last start, a nine-inning gem in which he didn’t allow a run, that he didn’t “give a shit” about the persistent trade rumors. Perhaps that’s because he knows, at the end of the day, he can do whatever he wants if the Giants try to move him.
Bumgarner is in the final year of his contract and will hit free agency this winter. He currently holds a 3.65 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 21 starts this season.