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Report: Giants willing to trade Madison Bumgarner

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Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Giants are willing to enter trade talks regarding Madison Bumgarner. He says that, so far anyway, the Giants have talked to the Phillies and Brewers on a preliminary basis.

Dealing Bumgarner would not be the most popular move for new Giants president Farhan Zaidi — the guy is a legend in San Francisco — but it’s also the case that (a) the Giants are not competitive and need to, at the very least, restructure; and (b) Bumgarner may be the most valuable trade chit they have.

Bumgarner famously signed an extraordinarily team-friendly deal with the Giants before the 2012 season. The 2019 season — in which he’ll play on the second of two team options — marks his last year under contract and he’ll make only $12 million for the campaign. Since signing that deal he’s gone 90-64 with a 3.02 ERA in 200 starts and has led the club to two World Series titles. While he missed a good deal of time in each of the last two seasons due to freak injuries, he has been effective, posting a 3.29 ERA (123 ERA+) in 38 starts. His career ERA+: 123 as well.

With Bumgarner healthy, relatively rested given two short seasons, cheap due to his contract and only 29 years-old, any team that is interested in a front-of-the-rotation starter should be looking at Bumgarner. It makes sense, then, that the Giants are at least considering shopping him.

B.J. Upton is going by B.J. Upton again

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Outfielder B.J. Upton went by the name B.J., short for Bossman Junior, through the 2014 season. His father Manny was known as Bossman, hence Bossman Junior. Upton decided he wanted to be referred to by his birth name Melvin starting in 2015, saying that everyone except baseball fans knew him by that name. Now, he’s back to B.J., Scott Boeck of USA TODAY Sports reports.

For those keeping score at home, Upton is the artist formerly and currently known as B.J.

Upton, 34, hasn’t played in the majors since 2016. He signed a minor league deal with the Indians in December 2017 but was released in the middle of last March and wasn’t able to latch on with another team. It seems unlikely he finds his way back to the majors.