9:41pm: It “does not appear” the Giants are targeting Boyd, Feinsand tweets. The San Francisco scout who watched Boyd’s start was on hand to advance scout the Phillies, whom the Giants play seven times from July 30 to Aug. 11, per Feinsand.
6:37pm: Once seen as one of the likeliest players to be moved prior to the July 31 deadline, Madison Bumgarner may now stay put entirely since the Giants’ improbable 17-4 record over their last 21 games has put the club firmly back into the NL wild card race.
Conflicting reports on Bumgarner’s status come from MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman. Feinsand heard from a source earlier today that “it’s all but certain” the Giants would hang onto Bumgarner through the trade deadline, while Schulman heard from a source of his own that no firm decision has been made by the front office about Bumgarner’s status, and that reports stating otherwise are “inaccurate.”
Quite a bit still seems to be in flux in the Bay Area, as if nothing else, the Giants certainly don’t seem to be the full-fledged deadline sellers that they appeared to be just a few weeks. In fact, Feinsand writes that the Giants could even look to start adding players if the team has a successful series against the Padres over the weekend. To this end, San Francisco “had a high-level scout” watching the most recent start of Tigers left-hander Matt Boyd, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi tweets.
Bumgarner’s recent form has been a major factor in the Giants’ hot streak, as the southpaw has a 2.00 ERA and 41 strikeouts against just six walks over his last six starts (36 innings). To be clear, the odds are still against San Francisco’s chances at reaching the postseason, and with Bumgarner’s value perhaps at a peak, there is a definite argument to be made that trading Bumgarner for a large haul of prospects is the wiser long-term move for a Giants team that is short on minor league depth. On the other hand, trading Bumgarner now would also be a strongly unpopular move amongst both the players and the fanbase, who have all been understandably energized by this 21-game surge.
It’s not surprising that the Giants front office is trying to stay as flexible as possible in weighing deals of Bumgarner, Will Smith, Tony Watson, and other major trade chips. There’s little point in declaring oneself as a deadline buyer now, when a four-game losing streak would put San Francisco right back into sell mode. As Schulman noted in follow-up tweets, the Giants could also look to deal from their bullpen surplus for a player who could help them win now. This is less likely to be a rental player, but perhaps someone like Boyd, who is controlled through the 2022 season.