The Braves enter the offseason with multiple needs, though starting pitching may be chief among them. The club has been in need of a frontline starting pitcher for some time, whether to add to the mix or to head their rotation, and now may be targeting a pitcher of that ilk. Reports surfaced on Wednesday connecting the Braves with veteran left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who is “their priority” according to NBC Sports.
Bumgarner is 30 years old, coming off the worst season of his career, and would be difficult to characterize as an ace at this point in his career. The North Carolina native would undoubtedly be an upgrade to a young Atlanta rotation but billing him as, and especially pay him as, an ace would be a risky proposition. San Francisco features one of the more pitcher-friendly environments in baseball, and yet Bumgarner posted a 3.90 ERA, largely due to a 5.29 road ERA. That figure has to be troubling for any team courting the left-hander at this point.
Whether or not the Braves secure the services of Bumgarner for 2020 and beyond, their reported strong interest is potentially a peak into their plan this offseason. Atlanta could benefit from the addition of a veteran arm who is historically a very effective innings eater. Stay tuned as more news is certain to come regarding Bumgarner and others.
This is just further proof that Tony Clark has no business leading the MLBPA. Grasping at the faintest signal of collusion is not a sound solution to fixing labor issues, and Clark has clearly chosen to die on this hill.
Freeman is a deserving winner of this prestigious award, which he has now earned in back-to-back seasons.
Mark Bowman runs through his 2020 Opening Day roster prediction, which includes the possibility of adding a number of significant free agents.
Are the Nationals plotting a run at Josh Donaldson?
Who has something to prove this offseason?
The Rangers would be an interesting destination for Ryu, who dominated the National League for much of the 2019 season.