Madison Bumgarner has been an oft-mentioned trade candidate this offseason, and the Giants are reportedly open to at least discussing their longtime ace. As the Winter Meetings begin, however, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi tweets that San Francisco isn’t close to a Bumgarner trade. It remains to be seen if the Giants will actually go ahead with dealing the southpaw, as the team seems to still be weighing its rebuild-or-reload options under new GM Farhan Zaidi. Morosi has previously mentioned the Phillies, Braves, and Brewers as three teams interested in Bumgarner if a trade were to develop, though his latest tweet adds the Yankees to that list as well. Bumgarner is only under contract through the 2019 season, and even though his numbers have been solid but less than ace-like over the last two years, he would still provide a notable boost to any rotation.
Here’s more from Morosi’s Twitter feed…
- The Padres have a “genuine interest” in acquiring J.T. Realmuto, while the Yankees aren’t in serious talks with the Marlins about the All-Star catcher. Yankees GM Brian Cashman was quick to deny rumors about his team’s interest in Realmuto last week, and New York already has Gary Sanchez behind the plate for the foreseeable future (though some rumors indicated that Sanchez would’ve gone back to Miami as part of a Realmuto swap). San Diego, meanwhile, has its own established catcher in defensive whiz Austin Hedges, plus one of the game’s top prospects in Francisco Mejia behind the plate. It’s fair to speculate if Mejia could potentially head back to the Marlins as part of a package for Realmuto, and the Padres certainly have the overall prospect depth that Miami is demanding for Realmuto’s services. Since Realmuto is controlled only through the 2020 season, his acquisition would indicate that the Padres and GM A.J. Preller are perhaps ready to end their rebuilding process and begin to compete by at least 2020, if not even next season.
- Speaking of the Padres and Yankees, the two teams continue to discuss a potential Sonny Gray trade. Morosi noted on the continued talks between the two sides earlier this week, and rumors of the Padres’ interest in Gray date back to last month. Pitcher-friendly Petco Park would seemingly be an ideal place for Gray to rebound from his rough stint in the Bronx, especially since Gray’s drastic home/road splits from 2018 already indicated that his struggles were particularly contained to Yankee Stadium.
- Mike Fiers and Kendall Graveman are two names on the Blue Jays’ list of pitching targets. With an inexperienced starting five projected for 2019, the Jays were known to be looking at rotation help this winter — particularly if, as Morosi notes, the team decides to trade Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman as part of its rebuilding efforts. Fiers and Graveman were both recently non-tendered by the A’s, and fit Toronto’s need for short-term additions are a relatively low cost. Fiers was in this same position last winter, as he signed a one-year deal with the Tigers and turned in solid numbers both before and after a midseason trade to Oakland. Graveman would likely be pursued for a two-year deal with a low salary in the first year, as the right-hander is likely miss all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Graveman was originally drafted by the Jays in 2013 (when Alex Anthopoulos was GM) and traded to the A’s in November 2014 as part of the four-player package that brought Josh Donaldson to Toronto.
- With Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi off the board, “J.A. Happ is viewed as the next key domino in the pitching marketplace,” Morosi writes. Happ has received interest from as many as 10 teams, as his age (36) would seemingly make him more amendable to a short-term contract, thus widening his market beyond that of a younger pitcher like Dallas Keuchel, whose desire for a longer-term and more expensive contract limits his list of suitors. It stands to reason that many of the same teams interested in both Happ and Keuchel, to say nothing of other free agent arms like Yusei Kikuchi or Charlie Morton, so it stands to reason that we could see something of a run on starting pitching if Happ or any of those names were to sign in the near future.