MLB free-agent rumors: Braves making Madison Bumgarner a priority, report says

Regardless of how hot the Hot Stove Season actually is this year — it’s been lukewarm, at best, the past few offseasons — Sporting News will have you covered with all the trade rumors and free-agent rumblings you can handle.

Rumor: The Braves have made Madison Bumgarner a priority.

Source: Alex Pavlovic, NBC Sports, Bay Area

Need to know: Madison Bumgarner is only 30 years old, which seems weird because he’s been around for parts of 11 seasons. And despite not being MADISON BUMGARNER the past few years because of various injuries and perhaps some natural regression, it’s quite possible he has more strong seasons left. His stats since 2017: 19-25, 3.57 ERA, 3.94 FIP with 413 strikeouts in 448.1 innings. Not bad, not great.

Could this happen: Bumgarner makes sense for the Braves on the surface. He’s a proven front-line starter with a stellar postseason resume who could give a young Atlanta rotation a boost in multiple ways. The only issue would be the money and the years. It seems risky for the Braves to give MadBum a long-term deal, but it seems unlikely he’d accept a one- or two-year contract. Still, the two sides have had mutual interest in one another of late — Bumgarner is a North Carolina boy from right in the heart of Braves country, after all — so it’s the kind of signing that could easily happen.

Potential domino effect: Getting Bumgarner would mean the Braves could officially move on from lefty Dallas Keuchel, who is already expected to be elsewhere next season. It would also, presumably, mean the Braves could focus the rest of their offseason on re-signing Josh Donaldson and/or adding more offense to the lineup. But Atlanta is said to potentially have interest in finding more than one established, successful starter to further balance out the youth in the rotation, which now looks to be without veteran innings-eater Julio Teheran. 

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