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MLB Rumors: Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel Focus of Padres in Free Agency

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 14, 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 for upgrades in their starting rotation next season, the San Diego Padres are reportedly interested in two of the top arms still on the market. 

Per MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Padres are taking "close looks" at Madison Bumgarner and Dallas Keuchel. 

Heyman added there are "suggestions" that San Diego won't sign a big free agent this offseason, but the team wants to build a roster capable of winning in 2020. 

The Padres made a big free-agent splash last year when Manny Machado signed a 10-year deal worth $300 million. His arrival, coupled with a loaded farm system, seemed designed to help the organization challenge for a playoff spot in 2019. 

Even though there were a number of positive developments last season, the Padres finished last in the National League West with a 70-92 record. One of their biggest problems was a starting rotation that only had one pitcher throw more than 150 innings and ranked 12th in the NL with a 4.66 ERA. 

Bumgarner or Keuchel would fit nicely in San Diego as the No. 2 option behind Chris Paddack, who had a 3.33 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 140.2 innings as a rookie last season.

In 34 starts with the San Francisco Giants, Bumgarner had a 3.90 ERA with 203 strikeouts in 207.2 innings. 

Keuchel went unsigned until June 7, but the 2015 American League Cy Young winner performed very well after joining the Atlanta Braves. The 31-year-old posted a 3.75 ERA with 91 strikeouts over 112.2 innings in 19 starts.