Madison Bumgarner to Milwaukee? The MLB hot stove heats up
Following a slew of offseason moves to bolster their lineup last year, the Brewers now turn their attention to the starting rotation as they are reported to have had "substantive communication" with the San Francisco Giants regarding star ace, Madison Bumgarner.
With the Giants looking to move on and rebuild from the remains of their 2010, 2012, and 2014 championship teams, the up and coming Brewers offer an ideal landing spot for the veteran ace.
Is Madison Bumgarner still good?
Despite being plagued by injuries (including a dirt biking accident) over the past two seasons, Bumgarner has still shown that when healthy, he is one of the best pitchers that the game of baseball has to offer.
Known for his durability and postseason heroics, Bumgarner is a pitcher from an entirely different era of baseball. An old-school warrior comfortable throwing as many innings and pitches as it takes to get the job done, Bumgarner has rightfully earned himself the reputation of a bulldog on the mound.
Even considering he has lost large portions of the past two seasons to injury, Bumgarner has still posted extremely respectable ERAs of 3.32 and 3.26. Moreover, his style of pitching has never been reliant on overpowering the hitter and his delivery to the plate is exceedingly fluid and repeatable. These factors indicate that Bumgarner is a pitcher built for long-lasting success in the Major Leagues.
Despite being at the tail end of his prime at age 29, he should still have plenty of productive seasons ahead of him in the future. Those injury setbacks he suffered have been the result of freak accidents and have had nothing to do with his arm giving out on him, so expect to see the same old MadBum come 2019 (so long as he doesn't wreck another dirt bike).
How does this help the brewers?
The Brewers featured a dynamic lineup and a deadly bullpen last season en route to a deep playoff run. However, one area that was shaky at times was their starting rotation. Filled mainly with homegrown young talent and solid journeymen, the Brewers don't really have an ace starter that instills fear in an opposing lineup.
A known commodity and certified ace like Bumgarner would give the Brewers an elite starter able to match up with any competitors' best arm. Furthermore, due to having such a strong bullpen, the Brewers often found themselves relying on bullpen arms a bit TOO much (as seen in the playoffs) and as a result, their once invincible bullpen became extremely human.
With a legendary innings eater like Bumgarner out there chewing up innings and giving the bullpen a break, the Brewers will likely see better pitching production from top to bottom within the organization.
Just a rumor?
With no baseball going on at this time of the year, rumors can take off and spread like wildfire. However, this one may have some real legs. It is well known that the Giants are looking for some assets in return for Bumgarner and many credible sources are claiming the Brewers are the top landing spot.
While typically a team such as the Brewers (a small market team that spent massive dollars last offseason), wouldn't have the financial flexibility to make a move for a bonafide ace, Bumgarner is only owed a team friendly $12 million next season. Financially, the Brewers could absolutely make this work while keeping their core intact.
This deal is still a LONG ways from being anywhere close to complete and there is a very real chance the Giants decide to hold on to MadBum, let him have a strong 1st half of the season, and then trade him to a team in desperate need for more value at the deadline.
But if the Brewers can continue to work this trade and bring Bumgarner to Milwaukee before the start of the year, they will undoubtedly cement themselves as one of the favorites to win the National League.