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Friday, July 10, 2020

Articles tagged: Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner reportedly wants more than $100 million over five years

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner is one of the top starting pitchers remaining on the free agent market, and there are several teams that are interested in signing the left-hander. Ultimately, it may come down to who is willing to meet Bumgarner’s asking price.

Bumgarner’s representatives have told teams the 2014 World Series MVP is seeking a five-year deal worth more than $100 million, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

While Bumgarner is coming off a down season in which he posted a career-worst 3.90 ERA, he still made 34 starts and struck out 203 hitters in 207 innings. He’s also one of the best postseason pitchers in MLB history. That should be appealing to contending teams, which is why one top NL team has supposedly made signing him a priority this winter.

There are concerns that Bumgarner’s stuff isn’t quite what it used to be, but he’s still only 30. Zack Wheeler, who is 29, just signed a five-year, $119 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. It makes sense that Bumgarner would want a similar contract, and he does not appear to be willing to take a hometown discount to return to the San Francisco Giants. He should have no problem getting $100 million.

Report: White Sox, Twins ‘heaviest suitors’ for Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner

Now that free agent starter Zack Wheeler has signed, the entire pitching market looks set to take off.

The next domino to fall could be Madison Bumgarner. The free agent left-hander has two major suitors in AL Central rivals Minnesota and Chicago, according to Andy Martino of SNY.

Both the Twins and White Sox are eager to upgrade their rotations, so it’s no surprise that they’re aggressively chasing Bumgarner. Both teams were in on the Wheeler sweepstakes, with Chicago actually making the highest known offer there. It’s not clear what the asking price is financially for Bumgarner, but it’s probably not that dissimilar from what Wheeler was asking. Given that both teams were willing to pay up there, they likely won’t back down when it comes to Bumgarner.

Bumgarner is still only 30 and should have several good years left. That said, his 3.90 ERA for the San Francisco Giants in 2019 was a career worst.

Report: Braves have made Madison Bumgarner a priority

Madison Bumgarner

On the heels of back-to-back NLDS exits, the Atlanta Braves are serious about making a deeper playoff run in 2020. It’s pretty clear that they intend to start that run in free agency this year.

According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Braves have made free agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner “a priority” and are considered the “clear favorites” if he opts to leave the San Francisco Giants, the only MLB team he’s ever played for.

The Braves can offer Bumgarner his best opportunity to play close to his North Carolina home. They also explored trading for him in July prior to the trade deadline, though nothing came of it.

The question becomes whether Bumgarner wants to leave. He reportedly won’t give the Giants a hometown discount, and it’s not clear how close they’ll be to contention in the years to come. The Braves are already back-to-back NL East champs.

Bumgarner posted a career-worst 3.90 ERA in 2018, but still threw 207 innings and struck out 203. If the Braves want him, they may face competition from a key division rival.

Report: Nationals interested in signing Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler

Madison Bumgarner

Less than a week after winning the World Series, the Washington Nationals are already plotting their next moves.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Monday that the Nats are already working on trying to bring back World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and obviously want to re-sign All-Star infielder Anthony Rendon as well. Heyman also said that the team likes veteran pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler in terms of outside options.

While it is unclear if the 30-year-old Bumgarner and the 29-year-old Wheeler would be contingency plans in the event Strasburg walks, at least the former would be a solid addition regardless as a lefty arm to complement a righty-heavy rotation. The latter is also coming off a strong stretch of play, going 23-15 with a 3.65 ERA over the last two seasons combined.

That said, it’s worth noting that one of those two prospective free agent targets had a bit of a feud with Nationals star Max Scherzer a few years ago.

Nats fans, they play it, you wear it: Get your Calma Champions 2019 T-shirt below:

Madison Bumgarner pinch hits against Clayton Kershaw, gets standing ovation

Madison Bumgarner hitting

Madison Bumgarner on Sunday received potentially his last standing ovation as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Bumgarner is in the final season of his contract and will be a free agent this offseason. He was originally schedule to start Sunday but he and manager Bruce Bochy decided to scrap that in favor of a different plan. We learned later what that plan was — Bochy decided to have Bumgarner pinch hit in the fifth for Brandon Crawford so he could face longtime nemesis Clayton Kershaw.

Bumgarner tipped his helmet after getting the standing ovation.

Bumgarner lined out in the at-bat.

Kershaw understood the magnitude of the moment and tipped his cap to Bochy for the move:

Bochy is retiring and Bumgarner may be moving on, which ends a great period of rivalry. Not only were Bumgarner and Kershaw star pitchers for their respective teams this decade and competitors in the NL West, but the two also hit against each other. Bumgarner has faced Kershaw more than any other pitcher in his career (24 times) and has clubbed two home runs off him.

Giants reliever used Madison Bumgarner-inspired bat to hit game-clinching single

Madison Bumgarner hitting

Madison Bumgarner’s proficiency at the plate may have just gone from impressive to downright mythic.

The San Francisco Giants faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday in a game that went down to the wire. Giants reliever Will Smith was called on to get the final out in the eighth inning, and once he did, stuck around for an at-bat in the bottom half so that he could remain in the contest to pitch the ninth as well. Kevin Pillar came up with a triple for the Giants to break a 6-6 tie, and then Smith followed with a two-run single (in his first career plate appearance no less) to make it 9-6. He then got the final three outs in the ninth inning to earn the victory.

Afterwards, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic revealed that the bat the All-Star reliever used to get the clutch hit was the same model that Bumgarner has, as he had requested that the team’s clubhouse manager order him as much.

MadBum is known as the league’s marquee “pitcher who rakes,” leading all active hurlers by a wide margin with 18 career homers. In fact, Bumgarner is so good at the dish for a pitcher that it has led to some wild anecdotes like this and makes it easy to see why Smith drew inspiration from him.

Report: Giants ‘still listening’ on Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner

The San Francisco Giants are taking the Madison Bumgarner sweepstakes down to the wire.

According to Jayson Stark of MLB Network, teams in contact with the Giants say they are still talking about big trades, and are listening on Bumgarner with roughly an hour and a half to go until the trade deadline.

To say that the Giants have sent mixed signals on Bumgarner would be an understatement. They’re in a tough spot, sitting just 2.5 games out of the second wild card in the NL, and Bumgarner is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. They seem inclined to keep him for one last run, but have discussed Bumgarner deals with contenders. The odds seem to favor him staying, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point.