Should the Blue Jays even think about pursuing Madison Bumgarner?

Madison Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Why the Blue Jays should avoid Madison Bumgarner

1. Substantial Regression

  • Bumgarner’s statistics had been trending in the wrong direction for the past few years. His strikeout rate had been gradually decreasing, and his walk rate and WHIP had been steadily increasing over the past three years. Not only that, but his pitch velocity had decreased over time as well, with his fastball now failing to reach 90 mph on a consistent basis. All in all, this certainly does not bode well for him in the long run, unless he adjusts his pitching mechanics to accommodate for these deficiencies to remain an effective pitcher.

2.  Age

  • Bumgarner is also on the wrong side of thirty. Added to his substantial regression, it doesn’t look too convincing that he can continue to perform at baseball's highest level in the coming years. With close to 60% of his pitch distribution relying on his fastball and cutter over his career, losing a few miles from the pitches is almost equivalent to serving up batting practice to the batters, so as father time creeps in, his pitch velocity will definitely decrease even more, negating his main strengths.

3.  Incompatible Fit

  • Most importantly, Bumgarner seems to be an incompatible fit for the current Blue Jays’ roster. With his current mediocre performance, he won’t be replacing any of the Jays current starting five of Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassitt, José Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi. In addition, he has never pitched out of the bullpen in his entire career, and he isn’t going to start doing that just yet, when he still believes he could be a major league starter. Finally, he certainly won’t accept being in the minors to serve as pitching depth for an organization.

The Verdict

As much as it may sound great to acquire a former star-caliber pitcher in Madison Bumgarner, it may be to the Jays’ best interest to stay clear of him and look elsewhere for upgrading their current needs. At this point, Bumgarner may have an easier time coming back as a hitter since his pitching days seem to be winding down.