It is well known that the Cardinals rotation has been… let’s just say disappointing. Michael Wacha just pitched himself out of a rotation spot. Miles Mikolas only managed 1.1 innings in his latest start despite an otherwise productive May. Flaherty and Hudson are both young guys with plenty of bugs to work out. Wainwright has been good at times, while very bad at others. The rotation ranks 13th in the NL in ERA and 21st in all of baseball. Improvements need to be made. But where do you begin?
A name that has been floated out there is the southpaw out of San Fransisco by the name of Madison Bumgarner. Is MadBum a good fit in St. Louis. Well I intend to find out. Let’s take a look at three pros and cons of a Madison Bumgarner trade to St. Louis.
Pro – He’ll likely sign an extension
Now some of you might see this as a negative but I absolutely don’t. We need a solid veteran presence moving forward beyond 2019. MadBum holds all of the cards on this one. With the way he has set up his No-Trade list he will likely have the choice of his destination. Along with that, he might only go to a location that will accept him with a contract extension. Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright are likely gone, leaving Mikolas, Flaherty, Martinez as likely rotation candidates. Alex Reyes, Dakota Hudson, Austin Gomber, and Daniel Ponce de Leon are also going to get a shot, but having a guy like MadBum in the rotation for a few years won’t hurt.
Con – What will it cost to trade for him?
How big is the package going to be for a guy like Bumgarner? You have to think it’ll be a good amount. Names such as Tyler O’Neill, Max Schrock, and even Alex Reyes have been thrown out there as possibilities to land the lefty. Are the Cardinals willing to drop this much talent to bolster the rotation? Are the fans? It’s a tough call to be sure and I’d be worried about giving up too much, especially if he doesn’t re-sign and we are stuck with a rental player.
Pro – Postseason Success
Take a moment to search for Madison Bumgarner and look at his Postseason stats. It’s absolutely ridiculous. He owns a 2.11 ERA over 102.1 IP in his postseason career. He’s struck out 87 batters opposed to just 18 walks. If the Cardinals are in a position to make a trade and are still in contention, a guy with his Postseason Numbers is a valuable asset.
Con – Is he past his prime?
Maybe? He’s only 29 years old. He has been in the league a long time, making his debut back in 2009 at just 19 years old. He had his best years from 2011-2016 where he reached over 200 innings every season putting up a 3.00 over that span. His last couple seasons have been spent on the DL in spurts due to random non-baseball related activities. So that’s not ideal, but considering his stuff, I’d imagine he can turn things around and be a significant upgrade for many teams. However, the question can still be raised and until that turnaround happens, it could be a concern.
Pro – He’s a lefty who gives you innings
This is kind of a two part pro in that A. He’s a lefty and B. He can give you innings. Right now the Cardinals are full of righties who are having trouble going deep into games. So why not get a guy who isn’t a righty and is giving you innings. Bumgarner currently ranks 5th in the NL in innings pitched. While the Cardinals bullpen has been pretty good, having a bit of a break could do wonders for this team moving forward. Bumgarner can do that. The fact he is left-handed gives you an opportunity to change things up for other teams. By throwing out righty after righty, teams don’t have to adjust too much. Having a lefty especially of his caliber puts other teams off balance and gives the Cardinals an edge.
Con – The Cardinals have enough depth at SP
This might be true and the main point the Cardinals front office would use if they decided not to acquire MadBum. I’m worried they won’t want to create a log jam at a loaded position. So if the Cardinals acquired MadBum, you’re keeping talented pitchers away from the Major Leagues. This is essentially a pro and a con depending on your particular viewpoint on MadBum.
I’m not gonna lie.. I’d pay money to see Madison Bumgarner in a Cardinals Uniform #STLCards #TimeToFly
What are are your thoughts regarding Madison Bumgarner? I personally would love to see him pitch for the Cardinals and I think he could legitimately help this team going down the stretch. Unfortunately, the Cardinals would need to be in a good position in order for Bumgarner to accept a trade to St. Louis. With Wacha losing his spot, you need his replacement to give you quality innings before the trade deadline hits.
Let me know what you think. Send me a tweet @2BirdsOnAnArch and let’s talk Cardinals Baseball!
Thanks for Reading!