The Giants “remain engaged” on franchise legend Madison Bumgarner, according to the last check of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman (link). Obviously, the word “engaged” can be taken to mean any number of things–ranging from casual contact to protracted negotiation. It is notable, though, that Bumgarner’s longtime team apparently hasn’t been scared off by the increasing amount of competition for his services.
Since November, we’ve heard the Twins, Padres, Dodgers, Reds, White Sox, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals all linked to the lefthander to varying degrees. It became clear that MadBum’s reps were seeking something in excess of $100MM after they apparently passed on a reported $70MM-plus offer from Arizona earlier this offseason. Recent ceiling-raising deals for Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole have likely only helped position such a nine-figure contract as a probable outcome.
More Saturday notes from around the NL…
- Add Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer to those critical of proposed changes from Rob Manfred and the league office. Well, perhaps “critical” doesn’t exactly do Bauer’s Saturday comments justice–perhaps “scorched earth” would be a better descriptor? “At least Rob Manfred is trying to ruin baseball at all levels and isn’t discriminating,” Bauer said on Twitter today. “Something to be said for consistency, I guess.” Bauer then asked followers what their “most hated Rob Manfred idea” was, before following up with a second tweet that characterized Manfred’s proposed changes as a “money grab”. While players should be entitled to their own opinions, it rates as newsworthy to see a public-facing employee criticize a central administrative office so, well, publicly. Whether other players share Bauer’s enmity toward proposed changes–which center around minor league contraction–is an open question.
- Although it still remains to be seen if his club will make a front-end addition to its pitching staff, Padres GM AJ Preller certainly feels like their Drew Pomeranz addition will help make its bullpen one of MLB’s best. “I think the way Drew pitched at the end of last season, what Kirby’s done the last three years and especially last year, we feel really good about the back part of our bullpen,” Preller said of pairing Pomeranz with closer Kirby Yates, as quoted in an article from Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Interestingly, Preller also made some comments that, if we’re inclined to close reading, could be seen as something of a statement on Yates’ future with the club. “If that ends up being something that plays out for us over the course of Drew’s four years, and we have lights out back of the bullpen, that would be ideal, honestly,” Preller said. Yates only has one year of control remaining, and extension talks have seemed rather touch-and-go to this point. Preller didn’t mention the Hawaiian by name in the last part of that quote, and his use of the word “ideal” should also be noted; still, it does give some indication of how the team’s top baseball operations mind envisions the club’s pen in future seasons. Jeff Sanders of the Union-Tribune relayed that the club plans to resume contract talks with Yates after, in Preller’s words, the club gets “a better sense of where we’re at payroll wise, where we’re at roster wise” over the next few weeks.