As the Major League Baseball trade deadline inches ever closer, the New York Yankees are still searching for their starting-pitching upgrade.
The Bronx Bombers’ comfortable cushion atop the American League East continues to grow during the early portions of the second half despite rotational concerns.
With the “World Series or Bust” attitude now in full swing, the Yankees will be connected to any notable starting pitcher believed to be on the market before the Jul. 31 deadline.
That’s just how things work with the Yankees even though they attempted to practice frugality in the offseason when building their AL-best roster.
One of the largest names on the market over the past few months has been San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, the crown jewel of the starting-pitching market this summer.
Bumgarner is a four-time All-Star who has posted a 3.08 ERA since his MLB debut in 2009.
He is best known, however, for his postseason prowess. Bumgarner owns a 2.11 playoff ERA with three World Series crowns. He etched his name in MLB folklore during his 2014 World Series MVP performance against the Kansas City Royals where he allowed just a single run on nine hits in 21 innings of work.
The 29-year-old southpaw will be a free agent after the 2019 season, which immediately made him a trade candidate even before the season started.
Trade rumors ramped up further when the Giants got off to a rocky start this season.
By Jun. 27, the Giants were 34-46 and sitting near the bottom of the NL West. Suddenly facing a roster blow-up, Bumgarner and his postseason experience would have fetched the Giants a bounty of assets to help build the future on.
And the Yankees have the young talent needed to at least pique San Francisco’s interest.
A late-July blockbuster might not be happening at all, though, despite numerous teams expressing interest.
The Giants have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the past three weeks, recording a 15-4 record in their last 19 games.
While they are still miles behind the juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, the Giants were just 2.5 games back of the second National League Wild Card spot.
The quick turnaround has many speculating that the Giants may hold on to Bumgarner for the rest of the season to fuel the unlikely playoff hunt, which is bad news for contenders looking to make a big splash this summer.