Madison Bumgarner Rumors

Extension Candidate: Madison Bumgarner

The Matt Moore extension showed any young pitcher is a candidate for a multiyear extension, regardless of service time.  Once the Giants gain clarity on the situations of Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, why not lock up Madison Bumgarner?


Bumgarner, just 22, quietly became one of the ten best pitchers in the National League this year.  He posted a 3.21 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.53 HR/9, and 46% groundball rate in 204 2/3 innings.  It's possible the best is yet to come, as the lefty posted a 5.8 K/BB ratio over his final 23 starts.

Bumgarner is represented by SFX, the agency that ranks fourth in extensions since 2009 with seven.  Four of those were for starting pitchers Zack Greinke, Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Verlander, and Clay Buchholz.  The Giants have a GM in Brian Sabean who is open to extensions, so the biggest question may be whether Bumgarner prefers long-term security or maximum year-to-year earnings.  Bumgarner received a $2MM signing bonus as the tenth overall pick in 2007, so he already has some measure of financial security.

Bumgarner has one year and 127 days of Major League service.  Since January of 2008, four pitchers with at least one year of service but less than Bumgarner's 1.127 have signed multiyear extensions: James Shields, Jimenez, Brett Anderson, and Wade Davis.  All signed four-year deals worth $10-12.6MM.  The Rays' Davis and Shields each allowed for three club options, while Anderson and Jimenez have two.  A third Rays starter, Moore, merits a mention in that he signed for more money than any of them, getting a $14MM guarantee with just 17 days of service.  Moore's contract also includes three club options.    

It's easy to see that Bumgarner is more accomplished than Shields, Jimenez, Anderson, and Davis were at the time their extensions were signed.  Bumgarner has a 3.10 career ERA, while the others were all over 4.00.  Anderson and Shields had similar strikeout and walk rates, but Bumgarner hasn't been nearly as homer-prone.  Bumgarner has the most wins, at 20.  Only Shields tops Bumgarner's innings total, a small 14-inning advantage that swings to Bumgarner when postseason innings are included.

If the Giants don't get at least one of Bumgarner's free agent years, an extension probably isn't worth considering for them.  Unless the lefty's extension is to shatter precedents, he'll probably have to accept club options on his third arbitration year and first free agent season.  If I were Bumgarner's agent, I'd be aiming for at least $16MM on a four-year deal.  A big win would be to get his third arbitration year guaranteed, pushing the value to $23-24MM over five years.  That might seem pricey now, but another strong season will push the required guarantee past $30MM.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

Quick Hits: Rangers, Bumgarner, Crawford, Stanton

Links for Friday, as teams continue trimming their rosters down…

  • Chuck Greenberg will no longer be part of the Rangers organization, but he leaves with $20-25MM in profit, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter)
  • The Giants renewed Madison Bumgarner's contract for 2011, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). That means the sides did not agree to terms on a deal, but it doesn't change the timetable for Bumgarner's arbitration or free agency.
  • As Alex Speier of explains, the only two outfielders ever to sign free agent contracts with an average annual value of $20MM have opposite styles of play. The Red Sox signed Manny Ramirez for his power, and they signed Carl Crawford for his overall offensive output, baserunning and defense.
  • Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton has a creative approach to addressing weaknesses in his swing, as Yahoo's Steve Henson explains.
  • Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post offers up a must-read profile of Nationals phenom Bryce Harper.

Sosnick On Bruce, Willingham, Nolasco, Dunn

Agent Matt Sosnick appeared on the Diamond Hoggers' Baseball Show today, and spoke at length about how he became involved in baseball, his experiences in the sport, and a few of his clients. Here are the highlights from the discussion, which you can listen to here:

  • Jay Bruce is open to signing a long-term contract with the Reds. "If the Reds felt the same way," Sosnick said. "We'd be open to doing something that was five or six years."
  • Sosnick acknowledged that locking up Joey Votto would likely be a higher priority for the club, but cited deals signed by Justin Upton and Troy Tulowitzki as potential starting points for a Bruce extension.
  • As we heard earlier today, Josh Willingham is interested in signing an extension with the Nationals. Sosnick feels that if Willingham were hitting the open market this winter, the 31-year-old could land a multi-year deal worth $10MM annually.
  • According to Sosnick, when the Giants made a push for Willingham, the Nats asked for either Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner in return.
  • Regarding a possible Ricky Nolasco extension, Sosnick says he and the Marlins agreed on the years, but were off by "about 20%" on salary. The two sides will resume extension talks in November or December, working on a one-year deal in the meantime.
  • Adam Dunn is not a Sosnick client, but the agent predicts that Dunn will receive about $40MM for three years this offseason.

Adam Dunn Not Traded

The latest on slugger Adam Dunn, who we learned yesterday is comfortable serving as a designated hitter for two months…

Giants Not Making Progress With Brewers

The Giants are still actively looking for an impact bat, but discussions about Brewers sluggers Corey Hart and Prince Fielder are "dead in the water," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  That's not a surprise, since Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Twitter that the Brewers plan to hold off on trades until tomorrow at the earliest. Hart has an injured right wrist, so the Brewers aren't likely to deal him until he proves his ability to hit.

Injuries to Hart and David DeJesus have not derailed the Giants' search for a bat. They have been connected to Jose Guillen, Josh Willingham, Scott Podsednik and Adam Dunn in the last 24 hours.  The asking price for Dunn?  Madison Bumgarner, says Schulman. 

GM Brian Sabean is also interested in adding relief help, though the market is tough at this point.  Schulman says the Giants are "investigating" Seattle's Brandon League.

The Brewers’ Asking Price For Corey Hart

The Brewers asked the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner in exchange for Corey Hart, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Giants GM Brian Sabean is understandably hesitant to deal either pitcher.

The Brewers appear willing to deal Hart, though the right fielder has been red-hot since the middle of May. The Giants, Rays, Padres and Braves are among the teams interested in the 28-year-old. Hart has a .288/.349/.569 line with 21 homers this season after a disappointing 2009 campaign. He earns $4.8MM this year and doesn't become a free agent until after 2011.

Sanchez has a 3.47 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 this season. The Giants control the 27-year-old's rights through 2012. Baseball America ranked Bumgarner second among Giants prospects before the season (after Buster Posey). So far in 2010, the 20-year-old left-hander has started four games and posted a 2.57 ERA.

Olney’s Latest: Lee, Zambrano, Dodgers, Fielder

In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says that even though the Yankees already have five good starters, the tight race in the AL East is enough to keep them engaged with the Mariners about Cliff Lee. They will probably make an offer at some point, but they're unlikely to land him because they've been philosophically opposed to trading prospects for a player they could just sign as a free agent after the season.

Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • Olney's message to any team looking for bullpen help: Good luck with that. There are no difference-making relievers on the market, and guys like Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, and Jason Frasor are no sure things.
  • Carlos Zambrano has some value as an innings eater, and the Cubs could probably get a team to absorb $10-15MM of the $45MM left on his deal. If he does get traded, Olney says it would likely be in the offseason.
  • People in the Dodgers' organization say there is "little or no hope" that money will be available for the team to make moves.
  • Olney doesn't see the Giants and Brewers matching up in a Prince Fielder trade. Matt Cain is a deal breaker given Tim Lincecum's recent struggles, and Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner won't be enough.

Odds & Ends: Bumgarner, Tracy, Oswalt, Atkins

Links for Friday night, as Edwin Jackson tosses a 149-pitch no-hitter against his former team….

Odds & Ends: Resop, Gamel, Santana, Bumgarner

Happy birthday, Jayson Werth!  Let's celebrate by reading these news items…

Odds & Ends: Matsui, Braves, Bumgarner, Benson

Sunday night linkage..