Although the Giants have a good relationship with left-hander Madison Bumgarner, their front office isn’t going to forget his dirt bike accident if the two sides negotiate a new contract in the future, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Bumgarner is controllable via eminently affordable team options for both the 2018 and ’19 seasons, after which the three-time World Series champion should be in line to become one of the majors’ richest pitchers. In the meantime, it’s possible the Giants could look to recoup some money from Bumgarner’s current deal in the wake of the off-field shoulder injury that will keep him out for two-plus months; however, Shea notes that doing so would look terrible from a public relations standpoint and could damage the team’s relationship with Bumgarner. Unsurprisingly, general manager Bobby Evans doesn’t seem inclined to quarrel with Bumgarner over money, telling Shea that the 27-year-old ace’s contract is “the least of our concerns.” Rather, the Giants’ “focus is trying to take care of Madison and get him healthy and support him any way we can,” per Evans.
More from the majors’ West divisions:
- The Rockies’ plan when they signed Ian Desmond during the winter was to play him exclusively at first base this year, but Mark Reynolds’ hot start has them rethinking that idea, Owen Perkins of MLB.com suggests. Desmond hasn’t debuted yet this season because of a fractured left hand, but when the shortstop/outfield option does come back (likely sometime in May), the Rockies might take advantage of his ability to handle multiple positions. When asked if that’s the case, manager Bud Black said “yes,” but he noted that using Desmond at short isn’t under consideration. Colorado has a young starter there in second-year man Trevor Story, though he’s hitting a mere .156/.260/.406 in the early going.
- Angels No. 1 starter Garrett Richards insists there’s no correlation between the elbow injury that kept him out for most of last season and the biceps problem that forced him to the 60-day disabled list Saturday, reports Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. “My elbow and my shoulder have never felt any better,” Richards said. “Why wouldn’t it, with all the rest I’ve had? I am disappointed with how I feel physically. This is like a nagging thing, I guess. We’re going to deal with it as it comes, a day and a time and hopefully come back sooner than later.” Richards has undergone two MRIs, neither of which has shown any structural damage, but the irritated nerve that has caused his biceps issue has healed so slowly that he’ll be on the shelf until at least June. “Nerves have a mind of their own,” he noted. “They regenerate at their own pace.”
- Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray could be one more rehab start away from making his 2017 big league debut, relays Joe Stiglich of NBC Sports California (video link). According to manager Bob Melvin, the A’s will “have a decision to make” on Gray after he takes the mound for Triple-A Nashville on Thursday. Gray, who’s on the mend from a lat strain, threw five scoreless, one-hit innings Saturday for Single-A Stockton, saying afterward that he had “no limitations” (Twitter link via Shea).