Madison Bumgarner

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'Big Time Baseball' Podcast: Are the Yankees and Madison Bumgarner a Fit?

June 25, 2019 - 12:47 pm

With the MLB trade deadline drawing near, there are numerous big-name starting pitchers on the block. The first-place New York Yankees are starting to run away with the American League East title, but with starters Luis Severino and James Paxton sidelined for some time, they’re looking to add a proven piece to the mix. The rest of their rotation has struggled, ranking in the bottom 10 in both quality starts and innings pitched per outing.

Jon Heyman, co-host of “Big Time Baseball” and a MLB insider, offered his insight about the prospects of Madison Bumgarner, among other pitchers, getting shipped off to New York.

“[The Giants> need to trade MadBum,” Heyman said. “The Yankees have a split on Bumgarner… They love the fact that he is the greatest postseason pitcher that we’ve all ever seen.

“But the Yankees are one of those teams that really relies on analytics… the analytics don’t say all that much positive about Mad Bum so it’ll be interesting to see how hard they go for him.”

Bumgarner’s overall numbers are underwhelming, going 3-7 with a 4.28 ERA while barely performing at a level higher than the league’s average starter (0.2 WAR). He dealt with injuries in both 2017-2018, and he’s nearing 30 years old -- an age that typically comes with regression.

Bumgarner is also yielding a 47 percent hard-hit rate, indicating the percentage of balls hit off him that exited at 95 mph or more -- while the league average is 38 percent (via Fangraphs).

The Yankees are a part of Bumgarner’s no-trade list, meaning he can veto any trades to Aaron Boone’s club. The no-trade list is often used by players looking for a lucrative contract, and because Bumgarner’s is expiring at the end of this season, he can leverage the teams on this list. Also included are the Brewers, Cardinals and Phillies, all of which need to bolster their starting pitching if they want to make a postseason run.

Heyman viewed the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman and Tigers’ Matthew Boyd as other potential targets for the Yankees’ search. He noted that while they’d also love to go after Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer, he doesn’t see this move as a possibility given the Nationals’ presence in the Wild Card race and Scherzer’s recent brilliance on the mound.