With the Giants floundering in last place and the July 31 trade deadline on the horizon, veteran lefty and soon-to-be free agent Madison Bumgarner submitted his eight-team no-trade list. Per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Bumgarner’s strategically-chosen teams are the Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Phillies, and Cardinals.
One might be quick to notice those are all contending teams. Bumgarner chose those teams in order to gain leverage over the Giants, as is his right. Some took it to mean that Bumgarner has no interest in pitching for a contender, which is not the case. What this means is that the Giants can trade Bumgarner without his prior approval to any of the 22 other teams. If the Giants happen to be negotiating with a team on that list, the Giants must seek Bumgarner’s approval first. If he agrees, great, off he goes. If he says no, then it’s back to the drawing board. The no-trade list doesn’t mean the Giants are unable to negotiate with any of those teams, nor does it mean Bumgarner is unable to approve a trade to any of those teams.
Bumgarner, 29, entered Sunday afternoon’s start against the Reds with a 3.99 ERA and a 51/8 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. The lefty’s peripherals had been trending in the wrong direction in recent seasons, but his 25.1 percent strikeout rate so far this season would be his highest since 2016. His 3.9 percent walk rate would be a career-low if the season were to end today. Bumgarner has a lot of innings under his belt with his 30th birthday coming up in August, but there’s reason to think he has plenty left in the tank. Contending teams, on the list or not, should be very interested in acquiring his services.