Dodgers Shifting Focus to Madison Bumgarner

(USA TODAY Sports photo)

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.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the Dodgers‘ change of intentions from the Winter Meetings late Tuesday evening.

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.”

At the beginning of the offseason, some pundits felt that Bumgarner was the fifth-best available starting pitcher on the free-agent market next to Cole, Strasburg, Zack Wheeler and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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.


58 thoughts on “Dodgers Shifting Focus to Madison Bumgarner

  1. You’ve been saying Ryu all off season Dennis, last season you kept saying you wanted LaMahieu, and we see how he did. Maybe AF will listen this time

  2. Ryu or bust. I’m sorry I hate MadBum and there’s nothing that will change that. I hate the very sight of him. Ryu is the better pitcher anyway. Just give him 4/$80 and let’s be done with this. I just don’t see Ryu tuning down $15 mil a year to stay in LA the rest of his career.

    1. Why would he take a pay cut? He got over 18 mil with the QO last year, and the union does not take kindly when one of their guys signs a deal for less than what they feel his kind of pitcher should make. Ryu one of the top 5 available pitchers. Wheeler is getting close to 19 million a year, Strasburg and Cole have blown that out of the water, Ryu, who was the ERA leader, and won more games is going to sign for a less annual AAV than Wheeler? Ridiculous. No matter how much you hate Mad Bum, he is a proven post season pitcher, he has nasty stuff, he can hit, and he is a fierce competitor. Hey, I never wanted to see Juan Marichal in a Dodger uni, but it happened.

  3. I was sitting at my computer, watching for any news out of the meetings, and I started thinking about where the game is now, and where it was when I became a fan. Of course the money is the biggest difference. You look at players like Mays, Mantle, Snider, Ted Williams, and many other stars, and none of those guys ever got a million dollars a year, they never came close to making what the MLB minimum is. Another difference is that the players lived in the neighborhood back in the day. Most had to take jobs in the off season. They were more like the common man than what they are today. They got paid good money for playing a game. They were more approachable, and friendly. Nowadays you have to pretty much got to a card show and end up paying for autographs unless you are at spring training where most players stop and sign after the workouts. Us older fans say the game is not what it once was. The game we grew up with was better. Today’s players are in better shape, take less time in spring to get into game shape, and have totally different tools to work with to improve. When I was playing in high school, we had the same thing set up in our bullpen that the Dodgers had at Vero Beach. We had strings so you could see where you were in the strike zone. Now, they use videos to study everything. New fans embrace saber metrics and new tech. Old fans would rather use the eye test. Baseball is just different for me now. I do not have favorites anymore. Too much instability. You get attached to a player, and wham, he leaves as a free agent. Although I know the players deserved more money, free agency is something I have never liked.

  4. So that is at least,$28M that Scott Boras has made for himself in the last few days. I wonder does he get his whole 5% in the first year, or each year like the player does?

  5. Is it true the Dodgers and Angels both offered something close to 9/324? How close? And he and his wife chose NY? If true, is it because he grew up a Yankee fan? In Newport Beach? I can’t help it, I hope it doesn’t work out.

    And Rendon?

    Bumgarner huh? The surly snot rocket. I’d rather not but he can probably eat innings in the #3 slot.

    This MLB game gets more difficult for me every year. 9 years is crazy. 9 and $324 million is insane. For a pitcher that by most algorithms used will be leaving his prime years after the first year of that contract. Who are these people?

    This world gets more ridiculouser every minute I’m in it.

    1. Makes you long for the good old days. Read a story a minute ago on the Dodgers web site that said they are more committed to making a deal for a name player than ever before. This was also said by Boras who said he saw a difference in the approach of the Dodgers towards the big names on the board. And supposedly they were pretty close on Cole, until he picked the Yankees. Also according to this story, they are still engaged on the remaining targets on their list, including Ryu, Bumgarner, Rendon, Bryant, and Kuechel. And ownership is supposedly down with getting a big piece. As stated many times, I will believe it when I see it.

  6. Both MadBum and Ryu will sign for more than was previously thought. How high AF will go on them remains to be seen. Kluber is still out there also. And Cueto (if he wants to take a huge risk). I’m still thinking he may come up with a trade for a prime starter that we haven’t thought of.

  7. This is just a poker game. Friedman and the Dodgers will act like they are in on all these big fish, but they’re really not. The Dodgers don’t need to sign a 300 million dollar star to put butts in the seats. They have a strong fan base and that won’t suddenly stop. The Dodgers will continue to develop young talent and make under the radar trades. They’ll probably offer Ryu a good contract, but drive up the price for BUM and back out.

    1. I think you’re right Brett. This has turned into a circus and at this point I think it wise Friedman leaves the tent. He has placed values on all these free agents based on his projections, and if others are willing to overpay, that is their business. The Dodgers business is to win a hundred games again and go into October at full strength. I have no idea what might be next for the Blue but once Rendon goes wherever he is going I trust sanity might re-emerge and we can round out the roster with the peripheral pieces necessary.

  8. Evidently AF must have thought Cole was worth 36 mil or so but not 9 years. But I do not see Mad Bum at a 100 mil not at this point in his careers and that’s all we should care about. He’s not a difference maker in the playoffs now with his diminished stuff. AF has a lot of work to do to get us anywhere near the level of the Yankees now

    1. Assuming that MadBum signs with a contender, I’ll be interested to see if his performance improves in 2020. For the last few years he’s had to pitch for a lousy team with no chance of making the post season. For a guy as competitive as he is, that could have had an effect on his performance. He’ll never again be the pitcher he was in the WS, but he may turn out to be better than the guy we’ve seen for the last three years.

    2. Bumgarner is 31 next August. His best seasons are clearly behind him, but he can still be useful. He projects around 175 innings of 4.0. What is that worth and how long can he keep doing it? I’m sure Andrew has a printout on it.

      Something worth noting, in the years he was an All Star and performing heroics in the post season, he never made more than $9.75 million. After that, when the giants started stinking, he was never paid more than $12 million. In his amazing career to date he has made less than Cole will make in the first year and half in New York.

      Do we give him $100 million? I don’t, but I don’t have Friedman’s projection software. Ryu or Bumgarner? I don’t know. Ryu for 3 sounds not really safe, but worth the risk. Bumgarner for $100 million?

  9. I strongly believe that Bumgarner will get more than 100 mil so, assuming he would even consider coming here, AF will have to go higher. As a matter of fact, I predict that he’ll get closer to 120 mil. Maybe Kershaw will convince him to come here.
    I’d be fascinated to know what the front office thinking is in going after MadBum instead of Ryu, who although older was a Cy Young finalist last year.

  10. Cole would have been nice.

    Rosenthal’s thesis is still thought-provoking, when does it stop paying to be smart and rationale?

    Rosenthals’ latest says it could be a Ryu/Rendon pursuit that the Dodgers undergo.

  11. Rockies are now listening on Arenado. A deal would be difficult because the cost would be not only his salary but players. They could propose taking the Davis contract to cut down on player cost, but Arenado has an opt out after 2021 which complicates things further.

  12. At this point I have to say I admire AF for not going nuts. The two contracts handed out are astonishingly absurd. Cole is going to a place where he will be under more scrutiny than he ever has been in his life. If he comes out of the box slow, fans in the Bronx can be brutal. Strasburg will be somewhere he is very comfortable. And, he does not have to be the main man. Right now, Cole is pretty much it for the Yankees. New report says the Rocks are willing to listen to offers for Arenado. Doubtful they would trade him to the Dodgers because Rockie fans would revolt. Not much action at the meetings, although today, Wednesday, is usually the day they heat up some. I see the Dodgers have not gotten any of the so called 12 they have targeted. Dodger digest reported this morning that the Dodgers are considering using Lux in the outfield. This would seem to mean that if they were to get Rendon, Turner slides to first, and Muncy is the full time guy at second. Oh well, we won’t know for a while.

  13. Rendon did step up big in last year’s postseason.. Those are the type of players we need. Love to see Rendon vs Scherzer and Strasburg next year in the playoffs! But does Rendon continue to produce into his mid thirties like Turner. Those are the tough questions!

  14. New report says Dodgers not overly optimistic about getting Rendon, and have engaged the Indians in serious talks about Lindor. If they insist on Lux, that deal will never be made

    1. Nor should it. In two years, when Lindor would leave, Lux will be matching him in WAR and cost millions less.

      “Smart teams still pay the price for elite talent. The Yankees dared to make it rain when the time was right. The death star is fully operational, and now the rest of baseball is left to face the consequences.” Jayson Stark

      Kinda sums it up.

      1. They just posted that on twitter 1 year 10 million dollars. He immediately becomes Jansen’s caddy.

  15. Well it seems like AF was in the fight till the very end. I heard he was at 8/300 so I’ll give him credit for pushing his chips in. Just too many years for him. Time will tell if Yankees made the right move but they look like monsters for next 2-3!years before Judge and Torres come due. For me they need to win 2outbof next 3 WS for this move to be a success because then payroll will get really ugly

  16. Most of the reaction on twitter to including Lux in a deal for Lindor is in the column of lets do it. I disagree since not only would we need to include Lux, but May and Ruiz would be on the table too. No happening

  17. Signing getting a meh reaction on twitter from fans, and a enthusiastic thumbs up from the writers. Supposedly they are still engaged with the Indians about Lindor, so a little poll if you please, who would you give up for this guy…..I would go, Ruiz, and Seager and a low minors prospect.

    1. You know how I feel about Ruiz. I think Seager will out WAR Lindor so I don’t do that either. A combo of Gonsolin, Gray, Rios, Peters, Santana…. and Norris. (Sorry Bear, but it’s Lindor). I might throw in Joc, with two of the above. Gonsolin is our #4, Gray is our #5. May and Ruiz are just too valuable to trade for a rental. If we are in the Arenado talks, then I loosen up. Also, Lindor, in my opinion, is not a position of need.

      1. I can see that. If they kept Seager and traded for Lindor, how does the infield stack up in that kind of deal?

    2. I’d much rather get a third baseman (Rendon, Donaldson, Bryant, Arenado), keep Seager at short and then in two years when both he and Lindor are free agents, decide which one we want to go after.

      1. That is not a bad idea. If they don’t sign another SP or two, then, they should hold on to May, Gonsolin, Gray. If they do, then they have the flexibility to trade a couple of pitchers such as those three, plus Maeda, White, Santana and Stripling. There could be a read domino effect in play.

      2. That is a novel look at things. Rendon is becoming less likely as time passes. Angels have stepped up their efforts now to acquire a starter via trade. They are also heavy in on Rendon. Any of you lemmings ready to slit your wrists yet since Olaf the oaf is really letting you down so far. So much hope, so little action.

      3. Glad you brought up how much Olaf the Magnificent has accomplished so far. I was keeping silent because I didn’t want to rub it in but since you’ve started the conversation. He has surpassed my expectations, having signed Treinen for only 10 million (when he could have traded a used bat for him and paid 8 million in arbitration). Not to mention he came in second in the Cole Derby. That gives us the use of Cole for 10 starts next season (didn’t know about that rule did you). Olaf has a few more moves to make before ST. Hang on to your hat, they’re coming.

      4. Jeff. the drugs are making you hallucinate badly. He is going to miss out on Rendon, not trade for Lindor, and basically not do nothing until maybe after the meetings. It is the same old crap he has done for the last 5 years. Wake up and smell his MANURE>

      5. Our discussion revolved around what he was going to do this off season, not just at the meetings. I’ll be interested to see what Rendon gets, but just as Cole preferred playing in New York to L.A., Rendon prefers red uniforms. You can see that Andrew is coming up against factors that are out of his control.

      6. I understand the off season continues until spring training, but he is fast running out of big guns to acquire. And I doubt the color of the unis makes any difference, it is the green that means something.

      7. You really don’t think Rendon is picking his next team by the color of their uniform? 🙂
        AF is rapidly running out of free agents but not trade possibilities. I just hope we don’t trade for Price unless Betts is part of the deal.

      8. That is taking on a lot of salary. They have room, but it limits other moves. And Betts would only be here a year. I do not like that deal especially if it includes someone like Lux, and it probably would have to.

      9. I wouldn’t trade Lux for anyone at this point. I expect him to have a spectacular career based on what I saw, not in his OKC stats, but with my eyes when he played up here at the end of the year. Sure, he got fooled a bunch of times but the kid is smart, a hard worker, an excellent athlete and everything I want to see in a ballplayer. I am predicting a Chase Utley-like career for him but probably with a higher batting average. He ain’t for sale.

      10. If Lindor and Seager are in the same infield, first of all, hallelujah, Seager goes to third, Lux to second Muncy to first. Turner becomes Zobrist, we trade Hernandez. If Rendon signs, we are not likely going to trade for Lindor. If he does and we do trade for Lindor, halle****inglujah, I don’t much care what happens on the other side of the infield.

        So far it’s been mostly talk. Olaf got outbid. No surprise there. We signed a project. No surprise there either. Not a lot to talk about other than speculation, which is interesting, but we haven’t improved the team. I mean, really, how do you improve a 106 win roster? Ryu is gone? Next man up. Maybe we only win 100.

  18. I’m with bear on a Lindor trade, Seager, Ruiz And a lower prospect, but I like Jeff’s plan of getting a third baseman better.
    We need Ryu, or madbum also.

    1. Wow…the Astros are asking the Dodgers about the availability of Austin Barnes. Do they trade the guy to the cheaters????? Commish says this investigation into the cheating scandal is one of the most intense and complete the office has ever conducted.

      1. I saw that, and a guy referred to them as the Houston Astericks! Good one! If we could get someone useful, then resign Martin or someone else for a year.

      2. Looks more and more like Rendon is going to be wearing a red uni again. In Anaheim.

  19. Olaf the oaf is far from magnificent, he is more like a poop slinging BS artist. I do not believe a word that comes out of his mouth. Targeting 12 difference makers, and signs a pitcher who had a terrible year last year. Typical of this slug.

  20. After the last couple of very slow winter meetings, I would have never believed Cole, Strasburg, and rendon could have all been signed before the meetings were over.

      1. I made over 40K a couple times. So, me and Scotty have something in common. The 40 part.

        So far it’s not working out for Olaf the Interested. But he’s burning up the phone lines attempting to put something together. I’m trying to remember every team but one in the NL is chasing us. All of them are putting together a roster to Beat LA! We are, and will remain the NL favorite even if Olaf strikes out this winter. Olaf the Ofer. Well, he did sign Treinen. Kelly and Pollock might have competition for worst signing now. Competition is good thing.

      2. Treinan: I was thinking if he pitches 60 innings for his $10M, that is roughly equivalent to Kershaw pitching his 180-200 innings. Looks to be an overpayment for a guy who had a bad year. As Bear says, AF is no genius.

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