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Madison Bumgarner submits eight-team no-trade list

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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.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

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July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.