Madison Bumgarner looks to be on the move during the upcoming trade deadline. The Giants lefty has craft fully dictate who he will go to. This trend can and should be motivation for other prominent stars moving forward. Rather than exercising a full NTC and perhaps limiting the length and value of their current contract, they should strategically pick some teams likely to be in contention for years to come in hopes of controlling their own narrative when the time comes. If Bumgarner doesn’t decide to wave the no-trade clause there are still some teams that could be a good fit for him and the Giants.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays continue to baffle the baseball world. They shouldn’t be that good with a payroll that Bryce Harper could cover with the first three years of his current contract. Still the Rays find ways to make it work. Great scouting, smart signings along with management team that seems to understand the puzzle of an MLB roster to perfection won 97 games during the 2018 season. The Rays still hold a top-rated farm system, ranking #2 behind only the San Diego Padres (more from them later). The Rays would be an ideal partner for the Giants as they have a core of intriguing position players to go along with a batch of young arms that are expendable.
Players like 1st baseman Nate Lowe, SS Lucius Fox could be a building blocks for a potential package while throwing in a pitcher like Matthew Liberatore. Fox and Libertore rank in the top 55 in all of baseball and top ten in the Rays system. A potential throw in like the once highly touted RHP Jose De Leon could very easily make close the deal.
Tampa Bay has the flexibility to move a few prospects to add to an already stellar rotation. With the uncertainty of the return of Tyler Glasnow, Bumgarner could step right into a role alongside 2018 Cy Young winner Blake Snell giving the Rays a top of the rotation that would be tough to match in the playoffs.
Minnesota was able to fill in a gap that held them back in 2018: Power. Additions like Nelson Cruz and Johnathon Schoop along with growth from Jorge Polanco have made the Twins a a potent lineup one through nine.
While the offense has flourished the starting pitching, staff has gotten contributions from unexpected sources. Most notably veteran Martin Perez has reinvented himself with the addition of a cutter. Perez has given up just four runs over his last four starts averaging 6 2/3 innings per start. Even with Perez, the Twins still have some questions in the depth of their rotation. Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson and Michael Pineda have all been serviceable but there is still something missing at the top of the rotation.
The Twins have solidified themselves early in the first half as contenders for the AL Central crown. Adding a veteran champion like Madison Bumgarner can fill in the gap after all- star Jose Berrios. Minnesota also has the depth in the farm system to make this deal happen. The Twins currently rank as the 8th best farm system in baseball according to baseball MLB Pipeline.
San Diego Padres
This is a but farfetched as I don’t see the Giant moving Bumgarner within the division but if they would the Padres would be an ideal target for them. San Diego has the farm system to make this deal as well as the location and money to sign Bumgarner long term. Signing Manny Machado allows the flexibility with prospects Luis Arias and Xavier Edwards. Two potential pieces that have become expendable for the organization. The Padres also have. Large number of young arms that have been on the way for a long time that could be moved for a potential ace to work with the young pitchers that have continued to develop like Joey Lucchessi and of course the talented Chris Paddack.