With their recent surge in the standings, Farhan Zaidi and the Giants are in a tough spot.
Do they cash in trade chips like Madison Bumgarner and restock the farm system? Or do they hang on to the 2014 World Series MVP and make a push for an NL Wild Card spot?
But what about another crazy option? What if Zaidi agrees to trade Bumgarner to another team before the July 31 trade deadline and Bumgarner envokes his power to reject the trade?
ESPN's Buster Olney, citing a source, reported Sunday that this is certainly a possibility:
"In light of the Giants' recent surge, one source says he wouldn't be shocked if Bumgarner turned down a deal just to continue to be part of something he loves for the rest of his deal," Olney writes. "He could use the no-trade clause to extract some cash out of the Giants -- a going-away present, you could call it, a final chunk of change for a player who has been worth far more to the franchise than he has been paid during his time in San Francisco."
Back in May, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported that Bumgarner has eight teams on his no-trade clause: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals.
Following his last start, Bumgarner was asked about the trade rumors surrounding him and he made it clear his only goal was to win games for the Giants.
"I don't give a s--t," Bumgarner said. "I'm here to win games for this team, and that's what we're doing."
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In the moment, he meant that as a short-term goal. But what if Bumgarner really meant that he doesn't want to leave?
Olney's latest reporting certainly puts that thinking on the table.