Two of the most sought after free-agent pitchers have come and gone for huge deals during the early stages of the offseason. Now, what will the market entail for Madison Bumgarner?
With most of the focus entering the winter meetings on the starting pitching market, Madison Bumgarner was an intriguing piece for many teams, but was largely overshadowed by the potential moves of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.
Now, with the two biggest arms off the board, what kind of traction will Bumgarner receive from clubs seeking help in their starting rotation? It seems like the veteran left-hander will become the primary target of teams looking for pitching, as he’s the best remaining option.
The Angels and Dodgers have been two of the most aggressive teams in seeking starting pitching up to this point. Now that they’ve already tipped their hand by throwing out lucrative offers to Cole, the leverage shifts in the direction of Bumgarner’s camp.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported recently that the former San Fransisco Giants ace has let it be known that he’s seeking an offer north of $100 million.
During his time in San Francisco, Bumgarner was drastically underpaid while leading the charge on the mound to three world series titles. Now that the Giants appear to be in rebuild mode, odds are he moves on and finds a club looking to contend, but with that will come a hefty price tag this time around as he finally gets the chance to cash in.
Currently, he sits at the top of the pecking order as the top remaining free agent, making it inevitable that Bumgarner’s asking price is on the rise.
Entering his age-30 season, Bumgarner could pull off a contract around the ballpark of Zack Wheeler’s five-year, $118 million deal. Bumgarner is the same age as Wheeler and has proven to be a durable pitcher with limited injuries in his past.
Now that he’s a hot commodity, teams such as the Angels, Dodgers, White Sox, Twins and Braves will likely win the bid. A large payday is clearly on the horizon for Bumgarner.