Madison Bumgarner is paving his own path, whether the San Francisco Giants like it or not.
The Giants are a once-proud veteran group rotting from within, and the question is not if, but when they'll want to sell off their prominent pieces in the next few seasons. With July rapidly approaching, Bumgarner's partial no-trade clause was revealed, and the teams on the list are all contenders.
To the naked eye, this is a confusing strategy, but it actually gives MadBum total control over his future team. Should a contender want to make a move for the lefty ace, they'll need to get his approval first. Bumgarner is not easily swooned.
Madison Bumgarner Submits Eight-Team No-Trade List https://t.co/vdoXf1kO0Z— RealGM Baseball (@RealGMBaseball) May 12, 2019
The Braves, Astros, Cubs, Red Sox, Brewers, Yankees, Cardinals and Phillies all made the cut, and most of those contending teams could use pitching help. With the trade deadline not too far around the corner, they'll need to prove to Bumgarner that their long-term plan for contention goes far beyond just this season.
Madison Bumgarner’s eight-team no-trade list, per sources:#Braves#RedSox#Cubs#Astros#Brewers#Yankees#Phillies#STLCards— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 11, 2019
Bumgarner chose teams strategically; list comprised solely of contenders that might want to acquire him from #SFGiants, not teams he wants to avoid.
This trend can and should be motivation for other prominent stars moving forward. Rather than exercising a full NTC and perhaps limiting the length and value of their current contract, they should strategically pick some teams likely to be in contention for years to come in hopes of controlling their own narrative when the time comes.