The Yankees have faltered in the playoffs mainly because they don’t have a “closer,” not the bullpen kind, the Madison Bumgarner kind.
Madison Bumgarner has just what the Yankees have been lacking in trying to make their way through the playoffs, with a grasp (finally) on their 28th World Title. Mad Bum, as he is known among his fervent fans in San Francisco, is 8-3 over his 16 postseason appearances with a 2.11 ERA and a .899 WHIP.
With no reasonable challenge, it can be said, Madison Bumgarner single-handedly beat the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series, making three appearances, including one in relief when Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, called on him in a pinch. Undefeated in that series, his ERA showed up as a minuscule .043.
The Giants, who seem to have lost their way lately, to the point where even the savvy of Bochy cannot awake them, are reportedly putting out feelers they are willing to listen to offers involving a deal sending Bumgarner elsewhere. This is the one the Yankees should want, and it should be a Katie, bar the door, effort to make it happen.
Only 29, Bumgarner is a steal at $12 million for the 2019 season. One year is all the Yankees are guaranteed to get, but it just might be all they need to put them over the top after nine years of spitting sand without a World Championship.
Madison Bumgarner’s pending free agency in 2020 is precisely the Giants motivation to trade him while the gettin’ is good. And the Yankees have the gettin’ that is very good, with a plethora of pitching still in their minor leagues, and a couple of position players in Estevan Florial and Clint Frazier to whet the appetite of the Giants.
Yes, I know. The Yankees have a thing with Patrick Corbin, and it would appear he likewise with them. But at this point, a five or six-year investment in Corbin at prices that are reaching the stratosphere due to a bidding war the Phillies and National are also engaged in with the Yankees, seems to be something the Yankees should re-think, going instead for a playoff-proven pitcher who we know is more than ready for the stage in New York City.
Let’s read the cards accurately. Luis Severino, for whatever reason, hasn’t put it all together in October, when it counts. CC Sabathia has the makeup to deliver when it counts, but he no longer has the body. James Paxton is an unknown, having pitched in the far-away Northwest where the irrelevant Mariners play. And Masahiro Tanaka continues to somehow pitch with a balky shoulder and elbow, making him a “roll the dice” entity to count on for playoffs.
To state the obvious, pitching in the playoffs second-season is far different from the regular season. For years, the Yankees Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford, could be counted on to provide his teammates with a check each player sorely needed following another World Series Title. His teammate, Yogi Berra, lifted the heavyweight for the position players.
It’s also apparent that no Yankee position player has been able to elevate themselves to make the difference needed to make it all the way. Madison Bumgarner can fulfill one-half of the equation, and hopefully, the team’s Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle will emerge from a core of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and do I dare say – Gary Sanchez?
It all starts, however, with Brian Cashman committing to Madison Bumgarner as the missing piece on the Yankees starting staff over the long haul, and not just the regular season.
Cashman has proved his talent as a negotiator time and again when making trades. This one is no different, except for the parade in Manhattan when all is said and done.
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