© Benny Sieu | 2019 Jul 13
When the 2019 MLB season started it seemed like a forgone conclusion that Madison Bumgarner would be donning new threads by the time October rolled around, but as the July 31 trade deadline gets closer and closer, it looks more and more likely that Bumgarner could be staying in the Orange and Black for the rest of the year.
The San Francisco Giants have been scorching hot since coming back from the All-Star break, and their current hot-streak is punctuating the best two-month stretch of baseball that this team has played in nearly three years. They have been one of the best teams in baseball since June 1, and Bumgarner has been as good as ever, creating quite the dilemma for Farhan Zaidi.
Since May 1, Madison Bumgarner has allowed more than three earned runs just two times, and the Giants have gone 10-5 in the 15 games he has started during that stretch. His play in July has been even better, as he has thrown 16 innings with an ERA of 1.13 while striking out 14 hitters. He has yet to allow more than one run in each of his July starts. He is pitching like the ace that Giants fans have grown accustomed to, but that is part of what makes Zaidi’s dilemma so challenging. The better Bumgarner pitches, the better the return you can get in a trade, but at the same time…the better he pitches the closer you get to contention. It’s a tough situation to be in.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Sunday that Bumgarner, who has an eight-team no-trade list as a part of his current contract, could veto a trade in order to stay in San Francisco. Henry Schulman, the Giants beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, stopped by the Papa & Lund show on Monday to discuss that report.
“That’d be one of the dumbest things he ever did,” Schulman said. “I mean here’s a guy who’s never complained one wit about being one of the most underpaid superstars in the history of the game, and the one thing he would do by refusing to accept the deal would guarantee that the Giants will give him a qualifying offer for about $18 million after the season is over. Then if they don’t re-sign him he could end up being another Dallas Keuchel, where he doesn’t pitch ’till June and he has to take a discount contract because the qualifying offer doesn’t apply…if you get traded you can’t be offered it.”
Bumgarner’s no-trade list, which was leaked earlier this season, includes the Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Phillies, and Cardinals.
“I know that Madison loves the Giants, his loyalty to the organization is first-rate, but a lot of his loyalty is to Bochy and Bochy’s not gonna be here next year,” Schulman continued. “I would have to think that he would actually welcome a trade to a contender unless he truly, truly felt that this team had a chance to win a World Series and that he’d be letting them down by agreeing to be moved. I don’t see that happening, and I’m not saying Buster’s source is wrong, I’m just saying I know Bumgarner after 10, 11 years and I’m saying I don’t think he’s gonna cost himself that kind of money.”
The MLB trade deadline is on Wednesday, July 31 at 4 p.m. EST.
Listen to the full interview with Schulman below. To hear him discuss Madison Bumgarner, start from 7:00.