When the San Francisco Giants made an enormous splash by heisting Farhan Zaidi from the Los Angeles Dodgers, it suggested a shift in organizational philosophy. More specifically and less poetically, it hinted that the team would start to move from an antiquated, not incredibly smart way of doing things, to a more modern, logical way of doing those things.
The logical way of doing things says to (at least partially) abandon sentimentality. And it looks as though the team is prepared to do so. According to a reported the team is open to trading franchise icon Madison Bumgarner, who is the team’s best pitcher and maybe their best hitter too.
Here’s the most important snippet from the report:
Multiple sources indicated Monday that the Giants are willing to engage with other teams about the possibility of dealing their ace and three-time World Series champion. The Brewers and Phillies are among the teams that have had at least preliminary dialogue about trading for Bumgarner, sources say.
The report also notes that the team has talked with the Atlanta Braves, a team that fans have long paired with a potential Bumgarner trade, due to the proximity to North Carolina (Bumgarner’s home state), and Atlanta’s well-stocked farm. But alas, the report concludes that there are “no active talks or optimism for a trade with Atlanta.”
Zaidi being willing to part with Bumgarner isn’t surprising at all. The new President of Baseball Operations noted at his introductory press conference that he would explore all options to improve the team, and the Giants’ current timeline means getting value for some veterans is likely a good idea.
That said, don’t expect the team to trade their ace just for the sake of making a trade. If there’s one thing we can learn from Zaidi’s GM tenure in LA, it’s that he has the patience to wait for the move that really works. If they get a great deal, they’ll trade Bumgarner. If not, they’ll wait. Maybe a desperate team goes all-in at the deadline. Maybe Bumgarner gets injured and the Giants can re-sign him for cheap. Maybe the Giants exceed expectations, get to their championship window sooner than we thought, and want to continue to employ a man who can throw baseballs, hit baseballs, and launch snotrockets.
At the risk of appealing to authority, it seems that, whatever the team does with Bumgarner, it will be a well-reasoned, logical move, with some modern math backing it up.
But that means we need to be prepared to say goodbye. Bumgarner’s days in the orange and black may be in the single digits.