Bumgarner to Astros? Report says Giants ‘engaged’ with Houston

SF Giants are in tricky trade deadline situation with Madison Bumgarner

SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 28: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park July 28, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Just when it was looking like Madison Bumgarner was sure to stay in San Francisco, another report says he could be leaving.

Yahoo baseball writer Tim Brown reported Tuesday morning that the Giants and Astros were “engaged” in talks about a potential Bumgarner trade. But he also said it was not clear how serious the conversation was.

The Giants are known to be open to trade discussions on a number of players — Bumgarner chief among them — but their hot July run has clouded whether they’ll truly be sellers before Wednesday’s trade deadline. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Giants are 2.5 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card spot.

Houston has been rumored to be on the hunt for a starting pitcher, and Bumgarner has the best postseason track record of any starter on the market.

The Giants would almost certainly target power-hitting outfielder Kyle Tucker in return. Tucker is ranked 13th among MLB.com’s top 100 prospects, but Houston appears reluctant to include him in any potential deals.

The market for starting pitching appears to be weak considering the Blue Jays’ return from the Mets for Marcus Stroman. Bumgarner is a higher-pedigree pitcher than Stroman, but the new Met has a year and a half left on his contract, as opposed to Bumgarner’s deal, which only runs through the rest of the 2019 season.

Another complicating factor is Bumgarner’s no-trade clause, which includes the ability to block a deal to Houston. Bumgarner specifically put contending teams on his no-trade list so he would have control as the deadline approaches.

The Giants are expected to remain engaged with a variety of clubs on all of their top trade candidates through Wednesday’s 4 p.m. EST deadline, but all signs from the franchise over the last week indicate it would take an overwhelming package to move Bumgarner.

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