Since they're never in the headlines and are such an obscure team, the Yankees made the first big waves of the MLB offseason by trading top prospect Justus Sheffield to the Mariners in a package for James Paxton.
Though this trade was between two American League teams, it affects the Giants in multiple ways. It essentially eliminates the Yankees as suitors in a possible Madison Bumgarner trade, and it sets the bar on what the Giants could ask for in return for their ace.
"I think there's a lot of teams out there that would love to have him [Bumgarner]. Atlanta, I think, would sit at the top of the list," Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR. "I don't think he's going to get moved. I really don't. I don't think Bumgarner's going anywhere."
Recent decline in velocity, as well as batters hitting him harder and harder, show the Giants might need to explore trading Bumgarner sooner than later. But Krukow believes if the Giants do make the move, it will be closer to the trade deadline of the 2019 season.
The biggest barometer for him, however, was the 2018 trade deadline.
"I think if they were gonna move guys, in regards to Bumgarner, they would have done it last year when teams had two years of control," Krukow said. "But once it got past that, I think his chances got slimmer and slimmer."
Bumgarner is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season, when he will be 30 - the same age as Paxton. With his team-friendly eight-year, $58.06 million deal coming to an end, the Giants essentially have three options: 1) Re-sign Bumgarner this offseason. 2) Trade Bumgarner this offseason or at the trade deadline in 2019. 3) Play out the 2019 season with the hopes they can re-sign him during the offseason.
The last two seasons, when the left-hander has dealt with injuries from a dirt bike accident and a line drive to his hand in spring training, Bumgarner has made just 38 total starts. He's gone 10-16 with a 3.29 ERA over that span.
Giants fans differ on what the team should do, but the majority lean toward San Francisco securing the postseason hero.
And so does Krukow.
"Just like any other Giants fan, I don't ever want to see the guy ever wear another uniform," he said. "I just don't think it's gonna happen this winter."