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.

Giants' Pablo Sandoval is playing like an All-Star in short amount of time

Giants' Pablo Sandoval is playing like an All-Star in short amount of time

PHOENIX -- Pablo Sandoval didn’t walk around the clubhouse on Sunday morning. He bounced.

Sandoval went from one group of teammates to the next, his voice booming through the room as he cracked jokes. At one point he joined a group of relievers watching a long drive contest on a clubhouse TV. “Swing harder, bro!” he yelled at the golfer on the screen.

Then he found a group of reporters. One asked why he blew a kiss to the camera after his homer on Saturday night. Sandoval said it was his son’s birthday, and he knew he was watching. Sandoval went and grabbed his phone and came back with a video of his family watching his pinch-hit blast. 

“I always have a good game on his birthday,” he said.

It was pointed out that Sandoval also hit a homer on Mother’s Day.

“I always have a good game on Mother’s Day,” he quickly replied. 

Right now, Sandoval seems to have a good game every day. 

He came off the bench for another pinch-hit homer, this one a 10th-inning blast that gave the Giants a thrilling 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks. With two pinch-hit homers in less than 24 hours, Sandoval doubled his previous career total. 

“You expect good things to happen, that’s how good he has been,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “And it happened again today.”

Sandoval has been a breath of fresh air, a constant source of life and production. And at this point, it’s worth asking if he has been more. Has he been an All-Star? 

The Giants, even in a season like this, must have one, and so far Sandoval has been as good a choice as any. He has easily been the team’s best hitter, posting a 1.001 OPS for a lineup that has just one other player (Brandon Belt, .848) above .800. Sandoval and Belt are tied for the team lead in homers with seven, and Sandoval entered the day leading the Giants with 1.1 Wins Above Replacement. 

The most likely choice at this point is closer Will Smith, who picked up his 12th save in as many opportunities. But Sandoval is making a run for it, largely on the strength of his pinch-hit work, which may be an issue for some, but really shouldn’t hurt a player who does so much damage in the National League. 

He is 9-for-24 as a pinch-hitter with two homers, six runs scored and four RBI. Sandoval leads the Majors in pinch-hits, and Sunday’s was yet another with two strikes. He got a fastball on the outer half from Yoshihisa Hirano and spun it out to left. 

“I was getting ready for one moment,” Sandoval said. “You have to be ready for everything. Bochy gave me an opportunity in the 10th and I got a great swing and a good pitch to hit. 

“I calmed myself down, used my hands a little bit more. Don’t jump at the ball. That’s what I’ve been doing this season. Try to get a good pitch to hit — it can be low, it can be high. If I put the barrel on the ball with a good swing, there’s going to be damage.”

[RELATED: Johnny Cueto impresses Bochy]

Sandoval got his chance because of another substitute. Brandon Crawford came off the bench and robbed Adam Jones of a walk-off single in the ninth, diving to stop a hard shot with a runner on third. 

“That was the key to the game,” Sandoval said. “It wasn’t my bat. It was that play. That’s why that guy wins a Gold Glove every time he has an opportunity. He made that play to save the game.”
 

Giants vs. Diamondbacks lineups: Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford sitting

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USATSI

Giants vs. Diamondbacks lineups: Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford sitting

The Giants' bats were muy caliente against the Arizona Diamondbacks in their 8-5 victory on Saturday.

On the mound, Madison Bumgarner continued his Chase Field dominance. He allowed four runs and five hits with six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings in the NL West matchup and now boasts a 6-1 record with a 2.58 ERA in his last 12 starts at a location batters thrive in. 

On Sunday, it's Drew Pomeranz who receives starting honors on the bump for the Orange and Black. This is his first start since coming off the injured list after suffering a left lat strain at the beginning of May. His last outing didn't create the best of circumstances -- the lefty allowed seven runs in just 1 2/3 innings against the Reds, ballooning his ERA to 5.93.

The Giants will face D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray, who had a dazzling performance in his last outing against the San Diego Padres on Monday. He allowed just two runs over five frames and reached the 800th-career strikeout mark.

Brandon Belt is out of the lineup for the Giants with Donovan Solano starting at shortstop. Brandon Belt is also out of the lineup with Tyler Austin covering first base.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the MyTeams app.

Here are the lineups for both teams in the finale of a three-game series.

San Francisco Giants (19-25)

Joe Panik, 2B
Donovan Solano, SS
Tyler Austin, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Kevin Pillar, RF
Stephen Vogt, C
Mac Williamson, LF
Steven Duggar, CF

Drew Pomeranz, (1-4, 5.93 ERA)

Arizona Diamondbacks (25-21)

Adam Jones, RF
Ketel Marte, CF
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
David Peralta, LF
Christian Walker, 1B
Wilmer Flores, 2B
Nick Ahmed, SS
John Ryan Murphy, C

Robbie Ray, P (3-1, 3.14 ERA)