After losing starting pitcher Patrick Corbin to the Washington Nationals, the Philadelphia Phillies clearly aren’t content sitting on their hands. Per MLB.com‘s Jon Morosi, the Phillies have talked to the San Francisco Giants about starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
Just about a week ago, Morosi noted the clubs had had “preliminary talks,” about the ace. After that, Fancred‘s Jon Heyman reported that a Giants source said Bumgarner “isn’t going anywhere.” Of course, the market has now certainly changed, with Corbin suitors now having to look elsewhere for their pitching needs.
It’s clear the Phillies have a strong desire for a left-handed starting pitcher, one who would preferably slot in at the top of the rotation. “Madbum” would certainly fit that requirement. The 29-year-old is a four-time All-Star and has both a World Series and NLCS MVP. Bumgarner has also finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting four times, with his highest finish being fourth.
While he’s certainly accomplished, Bumgarner has run into a string of injuries which have limited him to just 38 starts over the last two years. The injuries certainly haven’t hurt his production, as during that time Bumgarner went 10-16 with a 3.29 ERA with 210 strikeouts and a SO/9 of 7.9 in 240.2 innings. In 2018, Bumgarner had a 3.26 ERA and a 2.5 bWAR in 129.2 innings (21 games started).
On his career, Bumgarner has a stellar 3.03 ERA, 1591 strikeouts, a 3.25 FIP, and a record of 110-83, as well as a bWAR of 29.9. Bumgarner also has a bat to boot, as his two Silver Slugger awards show.
It’s not clear have deep the talks have progressed, or even if the Giants still have any intentions on actually trading Bumgarner or simply listening to offers for him. Bumgarner has one year left on his contract, where he’ll earn $12 million. After that, he’ll enter free agency.
Even with his missed time, Bumgarner still has the production that warrants a return of solid prospects. According to The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies pulled top prospect Sixto Sanchez off the table when discussing a potential trade for Edwin Diaz and Jean Segura. While the Phillies might not have felt comfortable parting with their best prospect for a reliever, it could be a different story for a starting pitcher, albeit one on the last year of his deal.
There are plenty of other options for the Phillies if Bumgarner is unavailable. Those options range from veterans such as Nathan Eovaldi and J.A. Happ to unknowns like Yusei Kikuchi, who was just posted to the major leagues. Of course, none of those pitchers come with the resume that Bumgarner carries.
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