The Minnesota Twins are in the market for pitching and according to a recent report, they still have their eyes set on the Giants left-hander.As of right now, the Minnesota Twins’ starting rotation is good enough to contend in the American League Central. Although the Twins lead has shrunk to 5 1/2 games at the All-Star break, the Twins have been able to get by with Jose Berrios at the top of the rotation, Jake Odorizzi enjoying a breakout season and the trio of Kyle Gibson, Martin Perez and Michael Pineda having serviceable seasons.
In the past couple of weeks, however, the Twins starters have taken a step back. With Odorizzi landing on the injured list with a finger injury, Minnesota has to be thinking that the pitching staff as a whole is an area that needs an upgrade leading up to the MLB trade deadline. It’s likely the Twins’ front office will be making many calls (and have already called the Toronto Blue Jays), but another piece in the mix is Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
Unlike most of the arms on the open market, Bumgarner isn’t having a blow-away season with a 5-7 record and a 4.03 ERA, but still can be a nice addition thanks to his postseason experience. With the success the Houston Astros have had after acquiring Justin Verlander at what was thought to be the tail end of his career, teams may believe that with the right coaching, they can get Bumgarner back to his form.
The Twins seem to be one of those teams and have success with reclamation projects Perez and Pineda this season while also coaxing Odorizzi’s breakout season. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported (subscription required) that the Twins are not alone as the Astros, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers have joined the Twins and New York Yankees as possible suitors for the hurler that will turn 30 on August 1.
Despite the increased competition, the Twins may have a leg-up on acquiring Bumgarner thanks to his no-trade clause, which Minnesota is not a part of. Without the need to receive the left-hander’s approval, the Twins can simply make a deal and hope for the best in the second half of the season.
Bumgarner would also shed the risk of receiving a qualified offer at the end of this season by being traded, which prevents teams from needing to cough up a first-round pick to sign him in his upcoming free agency.
Bumgarner suffered an elbow contusion in his last start before the All-Star break, but it appears he’ll be ready to go when the Giants return to action. With the Twins looking to be aggressive leading up to the trade deadline, it will be interesting to see if they can land the former postseason hero or look somewhere else for help.