The Atlanta Braves should remain interested in Madison Bumgarner despite signing Cole Hamels. Having two proven postseason pitchers would completely vault the Braves to the top of the National League East.
The Atlanta Braves signing Cole Hamels was a bit of a surprise for a team that was expected to sign a top of the rotation arm. Madison Bumgarner fits that description perfectly and there has seemed to be long standing interest in bringing Bumgarner to Atlanta.
Atlanta is certainly going to have to overpay, however, if they want to bring Bumgarner to Atlanta. He has generated a lot of interest early this off-season and seemingly will demand more than Zach Wheeler’s five-year-$118-million dollar deal he signed with the Phillies.
Hamels is a great addition to the Atlanta rotation but still leaves Atlanta penciling in two question marks in Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb. Signing Bumgarner would allow Atlanta a rotation of Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels, Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and one of either Newcomb or Foltynewicz.
It would take Atlanta’s weakest point and make it a strength. As we saw during the postseason against the Cardinals Atlanta lacked a true ace to send to the mound in a must win game. While Soroka might be that ace at some point for Atlanta for now, they need an established veteran.
It is hard to see Atlanta spending what it would take to acquire Bumgarner and still bringing back Josh Donaldson. If it is a question of one or the other Donaldson certainly carries more value considering how strong this offense is with him at third base every day.
If Atlanta is considering going all in signing Bumgarner and Donaldson would push them into being not only National League East favorite but World Series contenders. More to come as the Atlanta off-season continues.