Madison Bumgarner puts Yankees on no-trade list in clever move

Veteran left-hander Madison Bumgarner’s contract with the San Francisco Giants allows him to put eight teams on his no-trade list, and he did so strategically.

Bumgarner, who becomes a free agent after the season, has submitted this no-trade list to the Giants, according to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network: the Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals.

But Rosenthal said that doesn’t mean Bumgarner won’t wind up with one of those teams. Instead, his list gives him better control of where he could wind up and over his future as a free agent.

The 29-year-old Bumgarner is battle-tested in the postseason, with an 8-3 record and a 2.11 ERA in the playoffs, including a 4-0 record in World Series games. While he’s just 2-4 with a 3.99 ERA in eight starts this season, postseason contenders undoubtedly will inquire about his availability as a short-term rental at a minimum.

Rosenthal said “Bumgarner chose teams strategically,” and his list includes potential suitors and “not teams he wants to avoid.”

Essentially, it appears Bumgarner chose the eight biggest contenders, believing those would be the ones that would suit him out most fervently. Generally, there is some sort of compensation for waiving a no-trade clause, Rosenthal reported, meaning Bumgarner gave himself a great shot at getting a pay bump.

By approving a trade, Bumgarner wouldn’t find himself in the same position as unsigned free agent pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel. Because they rejected qualifying offers from their teams, they can’t be signed without their new team forfeiting a draft pick.

If Bumgarner is traded, he would be ineligible to receive a qualifying offer and would be in a better position to sign as a free agent for the 2020 season.

A four-time All-Star, Bumgarner is in his 11th major league season, all with the Giants. He has a career 112-87 record in the regular season, with a 3.06 ERA and 1,642 strikeouts in 1,688 innings.

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