Hey, remember a month ago, when we got this news?
Turns out that rumor is still not dead. Here we go:
Braves still appear to be interested in Madison Bumgarner. They’ve been seen as a logical spot all along, tho some wondered if the Hamels deal might take them out. No sense it has. Also linked to MadBum: STLCards, Reds, Dbacks, Angels, Twins, Yankees (likely as fallback to Cole).— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2019
You can parse this however you’d like, including, “Haha why would I believe anything Jon Heyman or anyone else tweets when essentially none of Alex Anthopoulos’ moves have ever even been rumored on the internet before being made,” but it’s out there. I don’t really understand what makes the Braves “a logical spot” for Bumgarner’s likely-mediocre future performance that will probably require a substantial commitment, and my own uninformed guess is that there’s no sense the Braves are out on Bumgarner because there’s no sense they were in on him in the first place.
In any case, expect to hear more and more of this ad nauseam until the southpaw signs somewhere. And feel free to roll your eyes each and every time.
The Braves have already added one projected-to-be-league-average starter in Cole Hamels this offseason, and were able to do so on a one-year deal that won’t haunt the team even if 2020 happens to be the year that Hamels finally loses it. It’s not clear why they would forgo their risk-limiting modus operandi in this particular instance, though I guess it wouldn’t be particularly bad if they were able to get Bumgarner for a similar, low-risk deal that mirrors Hamels’ 2020 contract. The key complication there is that the team signing Bumgarner will cede a draft pick next June because he received a qualifying offer from the Giants; while the Braves technically suffer less than other teams for doing so because they’ve already given up their highest draft pick to sign Will Smith (and therefore the marginal cost of ceding additional draft picks is lower), it still doesn’t seem like a particularly awesome idea when there are other average starters they could acquire without this extra organizational cost.
Stay tuned, or just close your eyes, chant “la la la” at the top of your lungs, and run breathlessly into the hills behind your house. This will probably get worse before it gets better.