The Philadelphia Phillies have at least some level of interest in a former World Series MVP.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Phillies have “checked in” on free-agent lefty Madison Bumgarner. Rosenthal notes that the Phillies are “likely to cast a wide net” as they look to upgrade their starting rotation.
He also opined that the Phillies would likely prefer Bumgarner doesn’t end up with the two-time defending National League East Champion Atlanta Braves. Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area previously reported that the Braves were making Bumgarner “a priority.”
Though 2020 will be the 12th year of Bumgarner’s career, the four-time All-Star is still only 30 years old. In 2019, he topped the 200 innings mark for the seventh time in his career, but first since 2016. Across 207.2 innings for the San Francisco Giants in 2019, Bumgarner went 9-9 and posted a 3.90 ERA and 3.90 FIP.
The 2019 version of Bumgarner can still be an effective middle-of-the-rotation option for a contending team, but it’s been a few years since he’s pitched at an ace-type level.
One of the most appealing parts about potentially signing Bumgarner is that he’s arguably the greatest pitcher in MLB postseason history. In 102.1 career postseason innings, Bumgarner has a 2.11 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. He’s also thrown three career postseason complete games and was the MVP of the 2014 World Series, one of three World Series titles that he’s won in his career.
Given that the Giants issued a qualifying offer to Bumgarner, the Phillies would relinquish their second highest pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and lose $500,000 worth of space from their international signing bonus pool if they signed him.
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