Giants

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.