Minnesota Twins: Why the Twins should go all in to get Madison Bumgarner

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 23: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants watches from the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 3-2 in 10 innings. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 23: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants watches from the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 3-2 in 10 innings. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins have reportedly had their eye on the San Francisco Giants’ ace, but why would the left-hander be a boost for the team’s pennant chances?

The last time the Minnesota Twins looked to add pieces for a pennant push, it was the summer of 2017. The Twins were flirting with one of the top spots in the American League wild card race and were looking to obtain one more piece to their starting rotation. With a couple weeks to go before the trade deadline, the front office struck and acquired Jaime Garcia to be that missing piece.

Unfortunately, the Twins would suffer a slump right before the trade deadline and the front office was proactive in flipping Garcia to the New York Yankees for prospects just six days later.

The situation was a perfect example of how the trade deadline goes in Minnesota. For a team desperate to hang onto their prospects, making a huge trade to add an arm or a bat usually falls through due to buyers remorse. When the Twins do make a huge move, said move tends to not work out and be a colossal bust.

With the Twins looking to cement their status as one of the top teams in the American League, they are entering the buyers market once again this season. This time, the Twins seem to be poised to go big or go home by acquiring San Francisco Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

Bumgarner’s claim to fame came as the ace of the Giants dynasty that picked up three World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. With the Giants about to begin a rebuild project and Bumgarner’s contract expiring at the end of this season, San Francisco has made the 29-year old available and according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Twins are showing “strong interest” in his services.

There are many factors here, most of all that the Twins are willing to go all in on a team that led the American League Central by nine games entering action on Tuesday. There’s also the factor that Bumgarner hasn’t been the ace that helped carry the Giants to October glory at the beginning of this decade.

Bumgarner’s 2019 season has seen the left-hander go 4-7 with a 4.21 ERA. While those numbers don’t look great, Bumgarner has also posted a 4.33 strikeout to walk ratio this season and his last start on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies saw him strike out 11 batters over six innings while getting the 4-2 win.

Perhaps that doesn’t inspire Twins fans to want to get the Giants’ ace on numbers alone, but a situation a couple years ago may prove them wrong. That’s because in the same year the Twins played “Flip My Pitcher” with Garcia, the Houston Astros took a chance on Justin Verlander, who was supposedly on the decline with the Detroit Tigers.

Verlander found a fountain of youth once setting foot in Houston thanks to an Astros staff that relied on modern analytics such as spin rate. Since becoming a member of the Astros, Verlander has returned to the elite of American League pitchers going 31-12 with a 2.43 ERA.

The Twins have adopted those same analytics and have seen surprising years from Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and Martin Perez who all bought into new pitching coach Wes Anderson’s philosophies. With those three not having the resume that Bumgarner has had during his 11-year career, it’s fair to wonder if the Twins can help get the former World Series hero back to form.

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In any event, Bumgarner will not come cheap for the Twins as the Giants will look to stockpile talent into their weak farm system. However, it might be time for Minnesota to go all in on this season and adding Bumgarner to the top of the rotation might be the piece that puts them over the top.

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