Melissa Lockhard of The Athletic put together a “What Would A Madison Bumgarner Trade Look Like?” piece this morning (subscription required) and near the top of the post, she listed the results of similar type of trades in recent MLB history:
July 26, 2018: Blue Jays trade J.A. Happ to the Yankees for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney
July 27, 2018: Rangers trade Cole Hamels and cash to the Cubs for Rollie Lacy, Eddie Butler and a PTBNL (Alexander Ovalles)
Aug. 31, 2018: Nationals trade Gio González and international bonus slot money to the Brewers for K.J. Harrison and Gilbert Lara
July 31, 2017: Rangers trade Yu Darvish to the Dodgers for A.J. Alexy, Brendon Davis and Willie Calhoun
The other day, Brady wrote in Bumgarner’s community projection that he represented the measuring stick of the 2019 squad’s success. How Bumgarner goes, so do the Giants. To that end, how Bumgarner goes will determine which type of return like the ones above the Giants could get in trade for him, if he’s traded at all.
All four of those pitchers had already lost their luster — well, Happ had sort of reinvented himself and seemed like a pitcher who still had some above average game left in the arm, but he was also 35 at the time — which falls in line with Bumgarner. He’ll be 5 years removed from his postseason exploits, and if we’re being totally honest in the assessment, his last big moment involved Jake Arrieta taking him deep.
The Giants couldn’t get much in return for him at this point, even with a bounce-back season on account of his contract expiring, but getting multiple players for him seems very possible. We’ll see if the quantity over quality approach to the rebuild can work. That’s at least been Farhan Zaidi’s initial strategy in his first few months. Of course, it’d help if Bumgarner pitched near the top of the league, but if you’ve watched him in Spring Training, then you know that he’s basically the same guy he’s been the past couple of seasons.