SF Giants & Madison Bumgarner: Another Reason to Complain About The GM

Andy Bensch@@AndyBenschSenior Writer IJune 21, 2010

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 15:  Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Texas Rangers during the MLB spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 15, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona.  The Giants defeated the Rangers 8-5.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In the world of sports, there are no absolutes. Especially in baseball, absolutes simply don't exist.

Home runs are ruled as ground rule doubles, perfect games are ruined by wrong calls, and strikes are called balls.

Leave the absolutes to the sciences (and vodka, I guess?).

But with baseball? Everything is open for evaluation and change.

Unfortunately, the San Francisco Giants have a personnel team that believes in absolute untouchables.

Or at least they will tell you that is what they believe in.

Take it from the leader of the Giants personnel team, GM Brian Sabean. In a recent article from the Giants, beat writer Andrew Baggarly, Sabean confirmed that top pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner is off limits and won't be traded.

Baggarly quoted Sabean to have asked "how can we? we might need him to pitch next week" when referring to Bumgarner.

Sure, the Giants have a spot in the rotation that is in need for a change, but does Sabean realize how ridiculously overstocked his organization is with pitching talent?

The Giants have plenty of options for their No. 5 starter, which is the role Bumgarner would be asked to take on.

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What they don't have, however, is an established middle of the order bat that strikes fear into the opponent.

Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Lance Berkman, Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez, Evan Longoria, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Kendry Morales, Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto, Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, and Mark Teixeira are 27 premier middle of the order hitters.

While a couple of these star players are having down years, each one of them (along with a couple more stars who I forgot to include) bring that dynamic presence to a lineup.

And for as decent of a season as the Giants are having, a year in which they have a good chance to make the playoffs even without adding a hitter at the trade deadline, they just don't have enough offense to consistently make the postseason and compete for championships.

Noticeably, of those 27 hitters, there isn't a single Giant among them. And the only player on the Giants who arguably belongs to that group is Aubrey Huff, who is having a tremendous season with San Francisco.

But this isn't about one tremendous season, it is about players that whether early on in their career or late in their career, bring an intimidating presence to the plate every single time they hit.

Nobody rooting for the Dodgers (players, management and fans alike) will be anymore fearful when Huff comes to the plate than when any other Giants hitter steps into the box.

However, having that hitter is imperative to winning consistently year in and year out.

I mean does anybody really think the Dodgers would have made two straight NLCS appearances without adding Manny Ramirez?

The Giants need their Manny Ramirez. Preferably not a player that is known for off-the-wall antics, but definitely a player with a Ramirez-like presence.

So with the Giants already having a World Series caliber starting rotation, but in desperate need of a big bat in their lineup, why would they claim their top pitching prospect to be "untouchable?"

Bumgarner is projected to be a front of the rotation starter, and arguably, the Giants already have four of those. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez are all all-star worthy this year.

Name another team that has four starting pitchers all having 2010 seasons worthy of an All-Star nod.


The fifth starter position is not an area where the Giants need a stud performer. It doesn't really matter if that spot on team is inconsistent because that's normal. Look at the history of baseball, how many fifth starters stay in the rotation for the entire season?

Not many.

Hence, the Giants wouldn't worry about the fifth spot in the rotation with Bumgarner gone because the offensive talent they could attain in his absence would be much more valuable and boost their chances of winning the World Series.

Therefore, if they could acquire a impact hitter in a deal centered around Bumgarner, they would be insane not to pull the trigger.

Of course, out of those 27 aforementioned bats, the Giants wouldn't want to trade Bumgarner for aging stars with shorter contracts like Berkman or Helton.

Bumgarner's talent requires something much closer to a sure thing in return.

And those who fit that criteria and could be subject to trade are players like Konerko, Dunn, Votto, Hamilton, Morales, Zimmerman, Braun, Fielder, and H. Ramirez.

It would take more than Bumgarner for most, if not all of these potential acquisitions, but with Bumgarner in the package, attaining one of these bats wouldn't be impossible.

Without him in the package however, it will be impossible.

You have to give to get, and if Sabean's not willing to give up the young talent required to attain a difference making bat, he's never going to get a World Series Championship.