The Atlanta Braves have their sights set on Madison Bumgarner this offseason and are making the former San Francisco Giants left-hander a priority in free agency, league sources told Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
The Braves "sniffed around" on Bumgarner before the trade deadline, according to Pavlovic, who adds Atlanta is now the clear favorite to land the pitcher if he decides not to return to San Francisco.
Atlanta plans to quickly communicate its interest to Bumgarner, and the Braves' pursuit could become a great concern to the Giants should they seek a possible reunion with the 2014 World Series MVP, Pavlovic notes.
Bumgarner, who is tied to draft-pick compensation after receiving a qualifying offer from the Giants, led MLB with 34 regular-season starts this past season, authoring a 3.90 ERA and 1.13 WHIP across 207 2/3 innings.
In 11 big-league seasons, the four-time All-Star owns 119 career wins along with a 3.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 3.32 FIP.