Now that both Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole have been removed from MLB’s free agency big board, the Dodgers will now be shifting their focus on an arm that is well-known to the club—the left-handed arm of 30-year-old Madison Bumgarner.
Some fans might remember MadBum’s long-time discord with former Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig, stemming from the “Don’t Look at Me” incident from the fall of 2016. Other fans recall the southpaw’s more recent beef with Max Muncy, which began after Muncy rocketed a 424-foot solo shot into the waters of McCovey Cove back in June of last season. After the blast, Bumgarner apparently yelled to Muncy “stop watching the ball and start running,” according to reports.
“I told him if you don’t want to watch me watch the ball,” said Muncy at the time, “you can go in the ocean and get it.”
Initially, Tim Dierkes at MLBTR had Bumgarner pegged at receiving a four-year deal in the range of $72 million, but newer reports suggest the veteran lefty will be approaching or exceeding a deal in the $100 million range.
Said Dierkes of Bumgarner, “Bumgarner bounced back with 207 2/3 innings this year after missing significant time in each of the two previous seasons after a dirtbike accident in 2017 and a broken hand that occurred in spring training last year.”
Dierkes added, “From 2011-16, Bumgarner was a lock for 30+ starts, serving as one of baseball’s best regular season pitchers and a postseason legend. Though his Giants haven’t appeared in the playoffs since 2016, Bumgarner sports over 100 innings of 2.11 ERA ball in the postseason to back up his three rings. He hasn’t quite maintained the strikeout rate of his heyday, and he can be prone to home runs, but Bumgarner is only 30 years old and has plenty left in the tank.”
Last season, he made 34 starts for the Giants, which was tied for first in the majors. He posted a 9-9 record with a 3.90 ERA and an identical 3.90 FIP alongside 203 punchouts over 207-2/3 innings of work.
Bumgarner is coming off a five-year, $35 million deal with the Giants.
While it has been reported that the Dodgers are indeed interested in Ryu, it is unknown whether Los Angeles is using one as a fallback option to the other, or if management is interested in inking both lefty starting pitchers.