The San Francisco Giants are reportedly open to trading ace Madison Bumgarner before he hits free agency following this season, as they should be, despite how depressing that is.
So let's lead the speculation. These potential fits for MadBum make the most sense.
Despite a great second half of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals fell short of a playoff spot in 2018.
Adding Bumgarner could take them to a whole different level, as a true ace that has led teams before. He also would fit well with the gritty identity that the Cardinals adopted under new manager Mike Shildt.
The Atlanta Braves are the first team to strike deals in free agency, and they have solved most of their offensive issues (swiftly) in doing so. Josh Donaldson is an impact bat that they added in the middle of their lineup and signing Brian McCann gives them the second catcher they needed.
Now the last thing that the Braves must do to keep their spot atop the NL East is trading for Bumgarner. Mike Foltynewicz had a great breakout season in 2018, but he is more suited to be the number two starter with Bumgarner taking over as the ace. Bumgarner grew up in the South, so maybe a trade for him now will turn into a new contract a year from now.
Last year, the Oakland Athletics were the surprise team in the MLB, winning 97 games, but questions remain if they can repeat that success this year.
One way to contend in 2019 is for the Athletics to get Bumgarner to come across the Bay and become their ace.
If the A's are unable to replicate last year's success, Billy Beane can just trade Bumgarner again at the deadline.
The Phillies are ready to win now and need to add some major pieces to compete in the suddenly-competitive NL East.
Adding Bumgarner would be amazing for the Phillies, as they already have two aces in Cy Young finalist Aaron Nola and former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.
The fact that the left-handed Bumgarner can break up those right-handed pitchers in the rotation only makes this more appealing to the Phillies.
The Milwaukee Brewers won the most games of any team in the National League this year behind the play of NL MVP Christian Yelich.
In the postseason, the Crew made it one game away from the World Series, losing a Game 7 at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now imagine that Madison Bumgarner starts that Game 7 instead of Jhoulys Chacin. This is a no-brainer; go out and get Bumgarner to take you to the promised land.