The San Francisco Giants have won six straight games, and suddenly they’re kind of in the hunt for the National League wild card.

So, will that preclude them from moving their star pitcher? Possibly.

Pretty much all season long, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has been named in trade rumors. For a while, it seemed all but certain he’d be moved by the trade deadline, but with less than two weeks until said cutoff date, the Giants suddenly look like a good baseball team. At 48-49, San Fran is just 2 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot.

Because of that, one executive interested in Bumgarner told MLB insider Jon Heyman that he noticed the Giants had “pulled back” in talks.

Now, that could just be the Giants playing hard to get and forcing teams to pony up more to pry away Bumgarner — who reportedly has been courted by the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, among other squads. In some respects, however, this is a franchise-altering decision. If the Giants believe Bumgarner is gone this offseason (he’s in the final year of his contract), they pretty much have to move him unless they believe they can be serious contenders. To this point, they’ve been a mostly bad ballclub, so relying on a relatively small sample size to rationalize not moving a player that all but certainly would return a massive haul is, well, stupid.

All of this is to say that the next week-plus is going to be very, very big for the Giants both this year and beyond.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images