Heading into his ninth year in the major leagues, Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants have yet to discuss extending his contract. While the Giants would be foolish not to keep Mad Bum, it makes sense to table extension negotiations for the time being.
As Madison Bumgarner emerged from the backcountry of South Carolina to report for Spring Training, he said there is still no talk of an extension with the San Francisco Giants. With the end of his contract in sight, Bumgarner’s main focus is gearing up for 2017 while he patiently awaits negotiation initiation from the Giants.
Following back-to-back 18-win seasons, Bumgarner went 15-9 with a 2.74 ERA last year. With 93 victories since 2011, he is fourth behind Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for most wins over the last five seasons. One could argue that Mad Bum might have risen at least past Greinke if the Giants’ bullpen was not what it was last season. Out of his career-high 34 starts in 2016, he received a no-decision for 10, five of which were lost as early as the eighth inning.
Regardless, even without playing the “what-if” game, Bumgarner is worth whatever amount will keep him in San Francisco.
Despite the urgency many fans feel to extend their beloved ace, the Giants are rightfully patient to hold off negotiations. They are already a hair above the $195 million luxury-tax threshold and extending Bumgarner would only increase their fine. Come next winter, the Giants expect more financial flexibility and will have more room on their payroll to spend on Bumgarner.
Likewise, Mad Bum is not worried about the future of his career. While many believe him to be worthy of a high-paying contract, he maintains his easy-going attitude towards his financial value. If what he said in 2015 rings true today, Bumgarner’s decision regarding a future contract will not be swayed by greed.