It’s trade deadline season and the Houston Astros should be among the fray as buyers. They should start kicking the tires on Madison Bumgarner. Why?
The Houston Astros are expected to be buyers once again as the trade deadline season is underway with the actual red-letter date being July 31. Fortunately, as long as the Houston Astros continue to be this dominant, you can expect them to buyers for the next few seasons as they continue to tweak this fine roster in one hell of a competitive machine.
The focus of this deadline will need to be addressing the pitching needs for this team. The bullpen is extremely taxed; and luckily, the impending All-Star break will allow those tired arms to get some rest so that they’re prepared for tough battling in the second half of the season.
The Houston Astros should make targeting a left-handed reliever — they currently don’t have any on the 25-man roster — a priority. I wrote a few weeks back in regard to how much Tony Watson would be an asset to this team as he has pitched a gem of a season so far and he’d shore up the weaknesses of this bullpen.
But what if this team were able to land another one of their arms? San Francisco will likely be conducting a fire sale as it appears that they won’t be going anywhere else after September but the trash bin to dump all of the materials from cleaned out lockers.
They still can build for the future by finding a trade partner with a valuable farm system with talented prospects and certainly the Houston Astros fulfill all of those attributes.
What should the Houston Astros do?
I’ve talked about Watson but the team seriously needs to look at trying to acquire the services of another lefty in Madison Bumgarner, who is still a formidable choice and could help round out the starting rotation tremendously.
He’s a big name that would provide a jolt to this team with close to the same effect as Justin Verlander so this is something that the team definitely has to consider. It’d be nice if the Houston Astros could land both Watson and Bumgarner but I won’t count my chickens before they’re hatched.
How has MadBum been doing?
Bumgarner has posted a 5-7 record, a 4.02 ERA while tossing 113 strikeouts and allowing 49 earned runs. His 3.96 FIP and 1.19 WHIP are near-average but it’s his 9.3 K/9 off 2.0 BB/9 that makes him a solid candidate to trade for.
It’s fair to say that Bumgarner is not getting the run support that’s needed to thrive as a pitcher so these numbers are still impressive despite that not happening for him.
The Giants are 28th in runs scored (356), 28th in OPS (.683), 27th in RBIs (347), and dead last in
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batting average (.230).
It’s awful for the 39-47 Giants, who sport a surprisingly pedestrian record but with the NL West, it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers dominance, coupled with everybody else scrapping for survival, with about a five-game difference between the remaining four teams.
What’s his contract situation?
Bumgarner is in the final season of a five-year, $35 million deal that will pay him $12 million this season. With just $6 million left on the books as we’ve technically passed the numerical midpoint of the season, this makes him an attractive, cost-effective option for the Houston Astros. It’s going to cost our franchise a bit, especially if they try to land both MadBum and Watson but I think it will be worth in the long run.
Who should the Houston Astros trade?
At this point, the Giants are going to want Kyle Tucker but they can’t have him in this package. Sorry Giants fans. I’d shop J.B. Bukauskas, Freudis Nova or even Ronnie Dawson the top prospects that I’d deal in a package. It’s going to take at least one top 30 — if not two — prospects to make a Watson/MadBum package happen but I’m confident that one could get done.
The Bottom Line
The Houston Astros badly need to bolster their pitching staff and entering into a trade agreement with a team that will be putting their top assets for sale is one of the best ways to go. I think Watson or Bumgarner — or both — would be great foundational pieces to push this team over the top as favorites to win the World Series this year. Being able to bring two dominant lefties into the fold will make this team deadly!
It’s time to get it done Jeff — go Houston Astros!