The hot stove slowly is picking up heat ahead of next week's MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego. 

With the Phillies signing pitcher Zack Wheeler and veteran starter Cole Hamels heading down south to the Braves, there is the potential of a Madison Bumgarner signing sooner than later -- possibly before the meetings.

There reportedly are three additional teams in the mix:

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal tweeted that despite the Hamels signing, that doesn't necessarily mean the Braves are out of the MadBum sweepstakes. But let's talk about the two teams Martino mentioned.

The Twins (and the White Sox) were one of the teams that was in pursuit of Wheeler and even extended an offer to him. They do need the starting help, despite Jake Odorizzi accepting a qualifying offer and Jose Berrios already in the rotation, but that doesn't leave them with much.

It would be fair to think the Twins are going to continue to be aggressive when pursuing pitching, but it doesn't appear MadBum would be that guy. 

The White Sox also wanted Wheeler, and according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the team has yet to even enter into negotiations with Bumgarner's people. 


The current rotation for Chicago consists of young, mainly right-handed pitchers -- a lefty veteran could be beneficial, but they might be waiting for some of the bigger names to sign before they take a Bumgarner pursuit seriously.

And as much as Giants fans, and Bum himself, would want to continue his career with San Francisco, that doesn't appear to be a possibility

Bumgarner spent the entirety of his career with the organization, tallying a career 3.13 ERA and 1.11 WHIP across 11 seasons. He also beefed up his resumé with four All-Star selections, three World Series rings and an MVP for the 2014 Fall Classic. His numbers during the postseason are sensational as well, with a career 0.25 World Series ERA. 

[RELATED: What MadBum's free agency looks like early on]

The Yankees, who always manage to be lurking in the shadows, currently are concentrating on star right-hander Gerrit Cole after a four-hour meeting discussing who knows what, but it certainly became a promising conversation as MLB Network's Jon Heyman tweeted there was no West Coast bias for the former Astros pitcher who loves the idea of coming home to California.

The wait continues ...