The San Francisco Giants are in a sort of transitional phase in the first year under new head executive Farhan Zaidi as the core of players that won three World Series titles in the last decade continues to age. The team has posted consecutive losing seasons and is currently in last place in the NL West at 16-22. The Giants figure to be sellers this summer, and it is assumed that one of their key trade pieces will be postseason hero Madison Bumgarner. But earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic shed some light on a no-trade clause in the left-hander’s contract that figures to come into play as we get closer to baseball’s July trading deadline:
Madison Bumgarner’s eight-team no-trade list, per sources:#Braves#RedSox#Cubs#Astros#Brewers#Yankees#Phillies#STLCards— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 11, 2019
Bumgarner chose teams strategically; list comprised solely of contenders that might want to acquire him from #SFGiants, not teams he wants to avoid.
Per the terms of the early-career extension that Bumgarner signed back in 2012, he can choose eight teams that he can veto trades to. According to Rosenthal, one of those teams is the Milwaukee Brewers. The other seven clubs are all teams that, like Milwaukee, seemed likely to be postseason contenders when the 2019 season began. As Rosenthal goes on to explain, this gives Bumgarner a measure of control when it comes to where he might be traded to this summer. If one of those eight teams wants to swing a deal for MadBum as they make their push towards a playoff berth, maybe he and his agent will only approve a trade to an org on the list if a contract extension for the impending free agent is part of the talks, or something like that. Of course, if a team like the Rays, Twins, Indians, Dodgers, etc., that isn’t on Bumgarner’s list wants to make a trade for him, they won’t have to deal with that obstacle.
More context on Bumgarner: His contract allows him to reject trades to eight teams. The eight I reported are the ones he can block. He can still approve trades to those teams, but generally players want some form of compensation to waive their no-trade protection.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 11, 2019
There were some rumors connecting the two parties during this past winter, but from Milwaukee’s perspective, that seems now like a not insignificant additional hoop to jump through in order to acquire Madison Bumgarner in his current state. His velocity isn’t what it once was and he’s been bitten by home run issues a bit in recent seasons, including 1.3 HR/9 allowed this year. He’s also yielded hard contact at a career-worst 44.4% rate, seventh-highest in the big leagues. So far he has worked to a 3.99 ERA across 49.2 innings in eight starts, checking in right around the league average.
That said, MadBum has shown some encouraging signs on the mound in 2019. He’s struck out 51 batters against only eight walks, pacing for what would be a career-best 6.38 K/BB rate. His velocity continues to hold steady at around the same rate as it’s been since 2016, with his average heater crossing the plate at 91.8 MPH this year. He’s dialed back his curveball usage in favor of more four-seamers and changeups and is generating more swinging strikes (11.5%) than he has in last three seasons.
Bumgarner is in the final option year of his deal and is making a base salary of $12 mil this season before hitting free agency. He’ll turn 30 this summer and will have logged some 1700+ major league innings over 11 seasons by year’s end, and his impending free agency will be an interesting case to keep an eye on given how the market has played out the last two winters.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs