The Yankees have a great team this year, but their rotation is in serious need of an upgrade if they want to get through October. Domingo German has done well so far and Jonathan Loaisiga has been holding his own, but Brian Cashman has the ability to go out and get himself the ultimate rotation piece in Madison Bumgarner. With someone like him, the Yankees would instantly become the favorite to win it all, but could they actually pry someone so talented loose?
Madison Bumgarner needs no introduction, but it’s possible he may need something of a reintroduction. After dominating the sport seven years running, and averaging at least 200 innings, freak injury has derailed him. In 2017, he suffered a shoulder injury after crashing his dirt bike on an off-day. Bumgarner ultimately missed more than two months of the season before returning. He also suffered a broken arm in spring training on a comebacker, and has only pitched in a handful of games this year.
Despite all this, Bumgarner is seemingly back to his old ways with the Giants. He has a 3.20 ERA in just four starts, and though he got off to a slow start, he has clearly figured things out. Bumgarner threw eight innings last night, allowing no runs on just three hits and two walks, while striking out eight batters. This is clearly the kind of guy a contender can use to take the next step, but it’s going to cost a lot to make it happen.
Of course the Yankees would want to target one of the best pitchers in baseball, but the 28-year-old right-hander would also make financial sense for them. The front office left about $12 million in the team’s payroll before they hit the $197 million luxury tax threshold. This was done to ensure that Cashman had the resources to upgrade the team at the trade deadline, while also saving as much money as they can. Bumgarner is only owed a prorated portion of his $12 million 2018 salary, so he would fit perfectly within any payroll restrictions.
Considering he also has a $12 million team option for 2019 as well, Bumgarner represents an upgrade to the current roster, as well as a means to build for the future. However, given this fact, it’s worth asking why the Giants would have any reason to move him at the moment. San Francisco has been bad this year, and their window of contention seems to have closed. If the team truly wishes to improve for the future, moving Bumgarner would be their best chance to add future impact talent. The Yankees may be unwilling to spend too much money, but they have the assets to move if needed.
Guys like Clint Frazier, Estevan Florial, and Justus Sheffield should intrigue the Giants, even if they decide to hold onto him. The problem in this situation is that San Francisco would really need to be blown away by a deal to move their ace, but there’s no way the Yankees are trading the likes of Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. Brian Cashman would be hard pressed to find a better addition to the rotation, so if the Giants are willing to listen, hopefully New York can put together a strong enough package.
What do you think? Should the Yankees target Madison Bumgarner, and do they have the pieces to make a deal happen?