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4 landing spots for MadBum: Who could acquire the former ace?

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The Arizona Diamondbacks designated left-hander Madison Bumgarner for assignment Thursday after a disastrous tenure with the club following a five-year, $85-million contract signed prior to the beginning of the 2020 campaign.

The D-Backs are unlikely to find a trade partner for Bumgarner due to his salary and are expected to release him. This should open up several doors for the four-time All-Star, who could be signed by any club for the league minimum of $720,000.

Here are four teams that could take a chance on the 33-year-old, who has 134 career wins and is one of the most decorated postseason pitchers of his generation.

Texas Rangers

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The Rangers immediately come to mind thanks to the connection between Bumgarner and his former manager Bruce Bochy. The pair spent a decade together with the San Francisco Giants, winning three World Series.

The Rangers are off to a surprisingly decent start, leading a tough AL West division thanks to solid contributions from a starting staff that ranks fourth in K/9 and FIP.

The rotation comes with health concerns, though, as Jacob deGrom and Jon Gray have already exited starts this season because of minor ailments.

Adding Bumgarner for the league minimum would provide the Rangers with experienced depth and allow them to use a six-man rotation early in the season, giving their big arms more bullets for a potential playoff push later in the year.

New York Mets

To say the Mets' starting pitching is a wreck would be putting it nicely.

We're not even through the first month of the season, yet New York already lost Justin Verlander, Carlos Carrasco, and Jose Quintana to injuries, while Max Scherzer - who was dealing with a shoulder issue before his last start - will sit out 10 games because of a suspension.

Bumgarner isn't the same caliber as Verlander or Scherzer anymore, but he could be an adequate fill-in for Quintana, who's expected to be sidelined until at least July.

A change of scenery, even to a tough market like New York, could also be beneficial for Bumgarner, who wouldn't have to wear the pressures of being an ace anymore on such a star-studded roster.

He's also historically pitched well at Citi Field, fashioning a 1.26 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 43 career innings.

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis could use an injection of something different with its rotation struggling to begin the season. Cardinals starters rank 15th in FIP, 19th in ERA, and 28th in opponents' batting average, which has contributed to the team's wonky 8-11 start.

Bumgarner hasn't exactly been elite, authoring a dismal 10.26 ERA in four starts, but the Cardinals aren't scared of acquiring older arms - John Lackey and Jon Lester come to mind - knowing they bring more to the clubhouse than just innings.

Acquiring Bumgarner would also be a huge boon for the Cardinals when they square off against the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, who they play a combined 23 more times this season. The lefty owns a 2.66 career ERA against the Brew Crew in 15 starts and has been even better against the Cubbies with a 2.44 ERA in 107 innings.

San Francisco Giants

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The most obvious landing spot for Bumgarner would be the Giants. The left-hander is among the greatest pitchers in the franchise's history, and it'd just feel right to see him back in the uniform of the Bay Area squad.

San Francisco could use an arm, too. Alex Wood, also a lefty, recently departed a game with a strained hamstring and is expected to miss several weeks, while offseason acquisition Ross Stripling has struggled to begin the year as both a starter and reliever.

The Giants have never shied away from reliving their glory days, either. In recent years, they've re-signed Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence when they were far past their primes and even allowed Sergio Romo to toss an exhibition game prior to this season beginning.

One more trip down memory lane with MadBum would give Giants fans something to cheer about in what's been a tough start to the 2023 campaign.

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