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.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.