Giants

Madison Bumgarner trade rumors: Which teams are best partners for Giants?

Madison Bumgarner trade rumors: Which teams are best partners for Giants?

Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner could be the most coveted arm at the July 31 MLB trade deadline, as his status as a postseason hero surely will make him attractive to contenders. 

The Giants certainly seem like they will be sellers in the summer. They sit at the bottom of the NL West, have made multiple roster moves already, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi isn't stuck to the glory days of the past. 

Nothing is set in stone, but we can assume the days of Bumgarner in a Giants jersey are coming to a close. With that being said, who is the best fit for the Giants as a trade partner? 

Here's what two prominent outlets had to say. 

Matt Martell, Sports Illustrated 

The young Atlanta Braves seemed ahead of schedule when they lost to the Dodgers last season in the NLDS. But with high expectations and so much young talent, Martell has them as the best fit for a Bumgarner trade. 

"Trading for Bumgarner would stabilize the rotation and could help decide the NL East," Martell says. "Plus, a veteran like Bumgarner could be a great influence on the 21-year-old Soroka and 25-year-old lefty Fried."

Going into Wednesday's slate of games, the Braves are second in the NL East and two games back of the second wild-card spot. Expect them to be buyers at the deadline. 

Buster Olney, ESPN

Interestingly, Olney ranks the Braves ninth out of 10 possible landing spots for Bumgarner. He believes Atlanta's need for bullpen help before the starting rotation could be a big factor. 

His No. 1 team wasn't even on Martell's list, but it's a familiar one to Giants fans. Can you imagine Bumgarner staying in the NL West and pitching for the Padres? Olney can. 

"Bumgarner could be a perfect fit for the Padres, given his experience in the division and in pennant races, and Zaidi could choose from what generally is regarded as the best and deepest farm system in baseball," Olney says. 

The Giants play the Padres four times after July 31. Seeing Bumgarner as the opposing pitcher in the NL West would feel eerily awkward, especially if it was in San Francisco. 

Analysis

The Braves have long made sense as a destination for Bumgarner. While Atlanta reportedly is on his eight-team no-trade list, the location is close to where he grew up in North Carolina and it would be hard to see him turning down a trade if the Braves are in contention. 

Before the season began, Baseball America ranked the Braves as the No. 4 farm system in the game. But three spots ahead sit the Padres, and they could be an even better partner for the Giants.

Padres top prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. and Mackenzie Gore are untouchable. Infielder Luis Urias probably is too. So let's get creative. The Padres have five pitchers who are top 100 prospects, plus former Stanford product Cal Quantril -- who is right outside of the list -- debuted in the big leagues this year. The Giants could take their pick of those arms, and then go after the bats. 

[RELATED: Bochy discusses Giants' need to rebuild by trading core]

Former first-round pick Josh Naylor is a defensive work in progress at first base and left field, but he has natural power and some of the best on-base skills in the minors. He would be a really intriguing bat and at the same time, the Giants could pursue a big-league slugger like Hunter Renfroe, who could be the right-handed power hitter the Giants desperately need. 

Get over the fact that the Padres are in the NL West. The Giants aren't winning it all this season, though the future might get a lot brighter in San Francisco with some San Diego prospects.

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

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MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

The carousel continues to turn.

Former Giants catcher Mike Matheny has drawn interest for the Giants managerial position, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.

Matheny played his final two MLB seasons with the Giants, and retired from baseball in 2007. The four-time Gold Glove winner managed the Cardinals from 2012-18, finishing with 591 wins and 474 losses, good for a .555 winning percentage.

He has spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals as a special advisor for player development. 

[RELATED: Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Venable for manager job]

It is important to note that the Giants have not been reported to have reached out to Matheny or brought him in for an interview.

As the process continues, Matheny's is not likely to be the last name we hear associated with interviewing to take over for Bruce Bochy in San Francisco.

Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

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Astros know Gerrit Cole wants to be 'West Coast guy' in MLB free agency

The Astros are trying to soak in every start Gerrit Cole makes for them. As Houston sits two wins from reaching the World Series, they know their staff ace likely will be pitching for a different team next season. 

Cole is expected to possibly sign a record-breaking contract as a free agent this upcoming offseason. His teammates have an idea of which part of the country he will be packing his bags for, too. 

"We know he wants to be a West Coast guy," Astros outfielder Josh Reddick told Bleacher Report's Scott Miller

Cole, 29, grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA before the Pirates took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Could his future be in Northern California, though? 

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Cole are brothers-in-law. ESPN's Jeff Passan also listed San Francisco in late August as one of nine destinations that are "positioned and motivated to explore adding Cole."

The three-time All-Star also told Miller that he has been to six or seven Giants postseason games in the past, including taking his grandfather to two World Series games in 2012.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has some big decisions to make regarding the roster this offseason. Longtime ace Madison Bumgarner will be a free agent, but Cole certainly would be an upgrade. The right-hander is a front-runner to win the AL Cy Young award this year after going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts over 212 1/3 innings. 

But Cole could be in line to sign a contract worth well over $200 million this winter. 

[RELATED: Maddon agrees to three-year contract to be Angels' next manager]

The Giants rode star pitchers like Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to three championships this decade. Adding Cole to start off the next decade could be the perfect addition. A healthy Johnny Cueto is returning to San Francisco's rotation next season, along with Jeff Samardzija -- whose 3.52 ERA this year was his lowest since 2014. 

San Francisco will have plenty of competition if they do pursue Cole, especially from Southern California teams in the Angels and Dodgers. He certainly will be sought after from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and beyond.