Enjoy this one, Giants fans. When Madison Bumgarner toes the rubber at Dodger Stadium tonight, it almost certainly will be his final appearance in the rivalry.
The Giants fully intend to trade their longtime ace before the July 31 deadline, and once he gets past this start against the Dodgers — and Max Muncy — it really could happen at any time. We have reached the point where any interested teams have to discuss the value of having Bumgarner for an extra three to four starts, and there's no guarantee this derby lasts until the end of July.
For now, we've got Madison Bumgarner vs. the Dodgers, always a good show. But trade talks will pick up in the aftermath, so let's put potential destinations in tiers as July approaches:
Make the Most Sense: Twins, Brewers, Braves, Phillies
A Bumgarner rumor out of Minnesota over the weekend was debunked, but the Twins still make a ton of sense. They have one of the best rotations in the AL but it lacks postseason experience, and Bumgarner could step in to try and lead a young staff through October. Plus, the Twins are not on his no-trade list, so a deal could come together a bit easier.
The Brewers were in San Francisco last weekend and showed how little starting pitching they have, and they have been a rumored destination in the past. First-year director of scouting Zack Minasian spent most his career in Milwaukee, so he knows this system well.
The Braves will be the favorite when Bumgarner hits free agency, and they could get an early look at the North Carolina native who sometimes flies home when the team has an off day on the East Coast. Even with Dallas Keuchel in the fold, the Braves should have enough financial room to add Bumgarner, who is on a below-market deal.