San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner reportedly selected the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees for the eight-team no-trade list allowed by his contract, per Spotrac.
Bumgarner's choices don't mean he wouldn't accept a move to one of those clubs. Instead, they give him leverage to potentially pick his own destination among those possible contenders, per Rosenthal.
The 29-year-old three-time World Series champion is in the final year of his contract.
That and the Giants' struggles to keep pace in the National League West (they are 16-22)—FiveThirtyEight projects them to finish in a three-way tie for the fourth-worst record in MLB at 69-93—make him a trade candidate.
In February, Bumgarner said he'd like to remain in San Francisco but acknowledged that might not be realistic given the situation.
"Obviously, this is where I came up. I've been through a lot here," he told reporters. "A lot of good times and a few bad times, also. Obviously I would love to stay here. If that happens or not, I don't know. Some parts are in my control, some parts aren't."
Bumgarner's decision to list high-payroll teams and playoff hopefuls with holes in their starting rotations was wise. There's no reason to choose the league's worst teams because they're unlikely to move prospects for a one-year rental.
In addition, Rosenthal noted potential free agents moved during the season are ineligible for a qualifying offer at year's end.
Many veteran free agents' open-market values have been reduced in recent years because qualifying offers attach draft-pick compensation to their signings. That may be why Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remain unsigned this season.
Bumgarner, a four-time All-Star, has posted a 3.99 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with 51 strikeouts in 49.2 innings over eight starts in 2019.
He owns a 3.06 ERA across 10-plus MLB seasons, all with the Giants.