The Giants woke up Thursday just three games back of the second NL wild-card spot, and their approach to the MLB trade deadline looked far more uncertain than it did a month ago.
The fate of San Francisco's playoff push depends upon its pivotal nine-game road trip beginning Friday, with the July 31 deadline sitting in the middle of it. Hanging above it all is the question of whether or not the Giants will trade starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner, whose playoff pedigree should make him an attractive option to contenders in both leagues. One potential suitor's interest reportedly is cooling off.
The New York Yankees, who led the AL East by 10.0 games entering Thursday, "are said to be less enthused with Bumgarner," MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reported Wednesday. But New York general manager Brian Cashman wants to acquire starting pitching, and Hoch reported that the Yankees "would consider any deal" where they could hang on to right-handed pitching prospect Deivi Garcia. Infielder Gleyber Torres also is untouchable, while "several clubs have expressed interest in" Triple-A outfielder Todd Frazier, according to Hoch.
Garcia, 20, has rapidly risen through the Yankees farm system over the last couple of seasons and currently is pitching for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He struck out 15 batters in his last Double-A start, and Trenton Thunder manager Pat Osborn said of the pitcher that "the only name that comes to mind is Pedro Martinez." Baseball America currently ranks him as the No. 69 prospect, and he is in the only Yankees prospect in the publication's top 100. Acquiring Garcia would represent quite the haul for the Giants, but it's easy to see why Bumgarner wouldn't be the Yankees' first choice.
As Bleacher Report's Tyler Brooke noted Wednesday, Bugmarner's hard-hit rates over the last two seasons -- 46.6 percent in 2019 and 41.6 percent in 2018 -- are the worst of his career. Yankee Stadium is nowhere near as kind to pitchers as Oracle Park, and hard contact can turn into home runs far easier in the Bronx than at China Basin. He can also become a free agent after the season, whereas some of the other pitchers the Yankees are linked to remain under team control through at least 2020.
Considering Giants players reportedly would "go ballistic" if Bumgarner is traded before the deadline because of the team's recent run, the ace might not be dealt at all. And if he is, the Yankees don't appear to be much of a fit.