The Yankees, by any definition, are in this to win a World Championship. Madison Bumgarner is The Man to give the ball to in October…
The Yankees and all of baseball realize that 2014 was a long time ago. The Madison Bumgarner who singlehandedly won a World Series for the Giants is not the same pitcher he was then. But he still has the same pedigree of what it takes to win in October. Which is why the Yankees should make every effort to secure his services for the next three months.
If Brian Cashman is set on securing another starting pitcher for the stretch run, his eyes should be squarely focused on a pitcher who can be thrust into the limelight without missing a beat. With the possible exception of Marcus Stroman who went 1-1 for the 2015-2016 Blue Jays in the playoffs, there is no other pitcher among the trade possibilities who has thrown a pitch in October.
Matthew Boyd, Mike Minor, and Kirby Yates are among the most talked about starters currently available. We don’t mention Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard here because, in their foolishness, the Mets will never execute a deal of this magnitude with the Yankees.
These are all fine pitchers who, presumably will give the Yankees some insurance against a breakdown among Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, CC Sabathia, and Domingo German to finish out the regular season with an AL East Title heading into the playoffs.
But I ask you this. Who among them would you feel comfortable giving the ball to start a playoff game? If you can’t name one, then what’s the point of making a trade for them to begin with? No doubt, Aaron Boone has the same question and the same answer to the question.
Which is, to Brian Cashman, if you can’t get me someone who can make a difference in October, then I’ll be more than happy to go with what I have.
Bringing us back now to “Mad Bum”. It’s been widely reported that Madison Bumgarner has a no-trade clause in his contract which names the Yankees as one of the teams he would not accept a trade to. Baloney.
Bumgarner is a center stage ballplayer. At only 29, he enters the market as a free agent with one final opportunity to score big with a new contract.
What better place than Yankees Stadium to cement that big contract? What better place is there to combat the “he’s washed up” naysayers who look at this season like it’s the only one Bumgarner has pitched in?
It’s not even as if Aaron Boone needs to call on Bumgarner as a starter in the playoffs. You’ll recall the five innings of two-hit no-run ball he tossed against the Royals in the seventh game of the 2014 Series – as a reliever (Video Above). And that came after his complete game shutout of the Royals in Game Five.
Bumgarner is owed only the pro-rated portion of his $12 million salary for this season. The Yankees can easily afford him.
For the Yankees, this is all about now. It’s been a long decade since we saw Number 27. Barring a series of unforeseen catastrophes, the Yankees have the division locked up. Competition for Bumgarner will be keen.
Mad Bum can get it done in October the way none of the other trade candidates can. And that should be all that matters…