Madison Bumgarner Rumors: Braves Have Made SP a Priority in Free Agency

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 6, 2019

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws against a Pittsburgh Pirates' batter in the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Monday Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
John Hefti/Associated Press

Looking to capitalize on their current window of contention, the Atlanta Braves have their sights set on Madison Bumgarner in free agency.

Per NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Braves have made the four-time All-Star "a priority" and plan to "quickly communicate" their interest to him when free agency begins. 

Atlanta has been in on Bumgarner dating back to the July 31 trade deadline before the San Francisco Giants opted to keep their star left-hander to finish out the 2019 season. 

Pavlovic noted the Braves are the "clear favorite" to sign Bumgarner if he chooses to leave the Giants as a free agent. 

Despite winning the National League East in each of the past two seasons, the Braves have had problems piecing together a solid starting rotation. Their starters threw 873 innings with a 4.20 ERA in 2019. The Milwaukee Brewers were the only NL playoff team to rank worse in those categories.  

Bumgarner isn't as dominant as he was at his peak, but he posted a solid 3.90 ERA last season. He is also reliable after throwing 207.2 innings over 34 starts, both of which would have ranked first on the Braves staff.