TODAY: Morosi now tweets that the Giants have left the Brewers with the impression that “a young starting pitcher — Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, or Freddy Peralta — would need to be part of [an] offer” to make a deal on Bumgarner. Of course, that may only be one portion of a palatable package.
Whether the Milwaukee organization has any inclination to pay such a price is not evident. It’s also far from clear just how active the discussions really are at this time. Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, on Twitter, “nothing substantive is being discussed at the moment” regarding Bumgarner.
YESTERDAY: The Giants and Brewers have had “substantive communication” this offseason regarding a potential Madison Bumgarner trade, Jon Morosi of MLB.com wrote this morning. While there’s no indication that the sides are particularly likely to reach agreement, it seems there’s serious interest on the part of the Milwaukee organization.
From the surface, at least, it’s tempting to view this as a possible blockbuster. Morosi suggests a deal involving the star lefty — a still-youthful player with unmatched postseason credentials — could be the only immediate means available for the Giants to “obtain high-end young players.” And the Brewers rotation is more notable for its depth than for big names at the top of the staff — a state of affairs that has often led to outside calls for a major strike.
Upon closer examination, though, it’s hard to see immense value in the contract rights to the undeniably accomplished hurler. After all, he has not only been limited by injury over the past two seasons, but has exhibited numerous declines in peripheral numbers. To be sure, he has still managed to secure excellent results, and he’s hard to count out at just 29 years of age, but there’s real concern about Bumgarner’s outlook.
With just one season of control remaining, at a not-insignificant $12MM rate, it’s tough to imagine any team giving up its favorite prospects for the chance to see what’s left in the tank. Neither does it make much sense for new Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi to part with MadBum for little more than cost savings. All said, it’s not entirely surprising that there has been so little chatter this winter on Bumgarner despite the Giants’ reported willingness to move him. Indeed, last we heard (nearly one month back), it was said to be increasingly unlikely he’d be dealt before the start of the season.
Beyond that, Brewers GM David Stearns proved last year that he won’t be swayed by outside opinions on the state of his club’s pitching staff. While the consensus was that the Milwaukee org needed to bolster the top of its rotation — both last winter and in the mid-season trade period that followed — the club largely elected to go with internal options bolstered by seemingly unexciting outside acquisitions. While the resulting staff was hardly dominant, it was a solid unit (particularly when paired with an excellent bullpen) that allowed the Brewers to exceed expectations.
All that being said, it’s plenty notable that the Brewers seem to have serious, ongoing interest in Bumgarner. While the sides obviously have not lined up to this point, Morosi goes so far as to say that the Milwaukee club is “most likely” to land Bumgarner if he does end up being moved. The Brew Crew brass is said still to be conducting “internal deliberations” on the matter, suggesting that the two teams are still looking for ways to bridge the gap in negotiations — and, perhaps, that both sides have some reason to think they may be able to do so.