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Inbox: What's Bumgarner's trade value?

@mi_guardado
May 13, 2019

What is a realistic return IF Madison Bumgarner is traded? -- @JarrodHerdt via Twitter I don’t know what will be made available to the Giants in potential trade talks for Bumgarner, but I think it’s useful to look back and see what kind of returns other teams received for impending

What is a realistic return IF Madison Bumgarner is traded?

-- @JarrodHerdt via Twitter

I don’t know what will be made available to the Giants in potential trade talks for Bumgarner, but I think it’s useful to look back and see what kind of returns other teams received for impending free-agent starters to gauge expectations.

Last season, the Blue Jays traded J.A Happ to the Yankees in exchange for infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney, who was ranked the No. 20 prospect in New York’s deep farm system. In 2017, the Rangers dealt Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in exchange for infielder Willie Calhoun (Los Angeles’ No. 4 prospect), right-hander A.J. Alexy (No. 17) and infielder Brendon Davis (No. 27).

If recent history is any indication, the Giants probably wouldn’t land a Vladimir Guerrero Jr.-type prospect in exchange for Bumgarner alone, but their longtime ace is still their best chance at bringing back impact talent to the club’s farm system. Bumgarner is also younger than Happ and Darvish were at the time of their trades and boasts an unparalleled track record in the postseason, which could work to the Giants’ advantage.

• Tweet Inbox questions to Giants reporter Maria Guardado

With Drew Pomeranz on the injured list, Dereck Rodriguez in the Minors, and Derek Holland in the bullpen, who are the options for fourth and fifth starters? Any chance at an opener situation where Holland would come in against more lefties than in a normal start?

-- @Cappers54 via Twitter

The opener is indeed coming to San Francisco, as the Giants announced Monday that right-handed reliever Nick Vincent will start Tuesday’s series opener against the Blue Jays. Tyler Beede had originally been slated to pitch, so it’s unclear if he’ll now follow Vincent as the “bulk” guy, or if the Giants will choose to deploy someone else like Holland. Either way, it’s clear the Giants are finally willing to try something new to resolve their recent rotation issues, particularly in the first inning, when they’ve been outscored by a 42-5 margin.

Wednesday’s starter remains unnamed, but it could be Beede if he doesn’t pitch Tuesday. While Beede endured a disastrous season debut against the Reds, I think the Giants want to give him a second look and give him another chance to stick in the rotation. Other potential options include Triple-A starters Andrew Suarez and Shaun Anderson. Pomeranz will also be eligible to come off the injured list Friday, so he could slot back into the rotation when the Giants head to Arizona for their series against the D-backs.

The Giants had said they are willing to talk about trades with some of their relievers. Any idea who they are referencing and if there have been any talks?

-- @SlimFrench via Twitter

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported last month that the Giants are open to discussing their relievers, an extension of the position they held throughout the offseason. Will Smith, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson were mentioned in trade rumors over the winter, and while no moves ultimately came to fruition before Opening Day, I’m sure they have continued to draw interest from other teams. Vincent, who won a bullpen job after signing a Minor League deal early in Spring Training, would also be a logical trade candidate since he is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

I would expect trade talks to start to heat up as the season inches closer to the July 31 Trade Deadline, though perhaps teams with glaring bullpen issues, such as the Nationals, will be compelled to act sooner rather than later now that we’ve arrived at the quarter mark.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.