We're now a little less than halfway through May, and the contenders and pretenders are starting to separate themselves from the pack in the MLB. And one of those teams is the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants, 39 games into their season, find themselves in last place in the NL West and 8.5 games off the pace in the division. They are armed with the third-worst run differential in the NL at minus-37. If they can't bounce back soon, they may end up trading some of their veterans. One of those players could be Madison Bumgarner.
David Price to throw bullpen session on Sunday
Bumgarner, 29, is in the final year of his contract with the Giants and is set to be an unrestricted free agent following the season. If the Giants don't start winning soon, they could offload Bumgarner to a contender that needs starting pitching depth, and that could possibly include the Boston Red Sox.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Red Sox are on Bumgarner's no-trade list. They are among eight teams that appear to be legitimate World Series contenders.
Madison Bumgarner's eight-team no-trade list, per sources:#Braves#RedSox#Cubs#Astros#Brewers#Yankees#Phillies#STLCards
Bumgarner chose teams strategically; list comprised solely of contenders that might want to acquire him from #SFGiants, not teams he wants to avoid.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 11, 2019
On the surface, being on a no-trade list would seem like a bad thing. But in reality, Bumgarner is just identifying potential contenders that may actually want to trade for him. As a result of this, he can pick and choose his destination a little bit more, as he would have to approve a move to a team on his no-trade list. This gives him more leverage moving forward to influence what team he ends up with, so it's actually within the realm of possibility that he could want to play for Boston.
Brandon Workman ties Red Sox scoreless appearances streak
The Red Sox don't necessarily need starting pitching, as they already have one of the strongest starting rotations in the league when healthy. However, both Nathan Eovaldi and David Price are on the IL at the moment, so they are a bit thin. If they continue to have trouble keeping their pitchers healthy, adding another arm would be smart. And Bumgarner may be one of the best on the market.
Bumgarner hasn't been his full dominant self in recent seasons, but he has still logged a 3.99 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings this year. He also has a bevy of playoff experience, with an 8-3 record, a 2.11 ERA, 87 strikeouts, and a save in 12 postseason series. That could be enough to push a contending team over the edge, especially a team like the Red Sox that has few lefties in the bullpen.
For now, Bumgarner is just a name worth monitoring and the Sox being on his "no-trade list" is simply a leverage move for the veteran lefty.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.