The New York Yankees are atop the American League East with a 52-28 record entering the halfway mark of the 2019 MLB season. There’s nothing to worry about. Everything is clicking. DJ LeMahieu is putting up MVP-type of numbers, Masahiro Tanaka is killing it on the mound and Giancarlo Stanton is nearing his return just in time for the crucial stretch.

But given the unpredictability of the MLB postseason, adding another battle-tested player has always been a necessity in this league. This is where Madison Bumgarner enters the picture.

Bumgarner, who will turn 30 in August 1, is currently earning $12 million on the final year of the five-year, $35 million contract he signed in 2015. While he’s no longer the same hurler he once was, the former World Series MVP remains a hot commodity in the trade market.

At first glance, Bumgarner’s eight-team, no trade clause complicates the process of finding him a new team. However, that doesn’t mean he hates the possibility of being traded to a contender.

The no-trade clause is simply a contractual ploy that Bumgarner exercised to ensure he would get some sort of compensation from the San Francisco Giants the moment they decide to sell him to any of the teams in the list.

According to veteran MLB insider Ken Rosenthal, the eight teams on Bumgarner’s limited no-trade clause are the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Cheap Yankees

The New York Yankees are always linked to big-name players, and Bumgarner is certainly not an exemption.

MLB insider Jon Heyman of MLB Network recently confirmed the Yankees’ interest in the pitcher, but their front-office is split on trading for a proven playoff performer whose analytic numbers are noticeably on a decline.

Heyman added that the Yankees are not high on trading assets for a player who could bolt out after the season. Rosenthal backed this up after he reported last week that the Yankees won’t trade Clint Frazier for a rental player.

On the other hand, baseball analyst Rob Parker is very critical on the Yankees for not asserting their will on the Bumgarner sweepstakes.

“I want to see Madison Bumgarner in the Bronx,” Parker said on Fox Sport’s “MLB Whiparound.” The Yankees need to stop being cheap. I am telling you the last time they won the World Series sportswriters were still using typewriters. It’s been that long. It’s been a decade.

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It’s time to go out and get you another star, they need one. They have a great bullpen, a great lineup but one more starter, a guy like him [Bumgarner] who has nothing but success in the postseason, which strengthens the rotation he’s the guy who needs to be the Yankees."

Minnesota very interested in Bumgarner

With the San Francisco Giants dead last in the NL West standings with a 34-46 slate, It’s safe to say that Bumgarner may be on his last few days with his current team.

Trade speculation surrounding pitcher heated up this weekend when Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports broke out information about the Minnesota Twins’ strong trade interest in the Giants ace. Since the Twins are not one of the eight teams in his no-trade clause list, Bumgarner has no control on the situation.

Minnesota currently tops the AL Central with a 52-28 record.

While it seems clinching a postseason berth won’t be a problem, Nightengale reported that the Twins will not be contented winning the division alone as they are aiming at big things this season.

Bumgarner is sporting a 4-7 record with 4.21 ERA (the lowest in his career) and 104 strikeouts in 17 starts this season.

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