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D-backs reportedly checked in on Madison Bumgarner, offer seen as light

Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 18, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Diamondbacks have “quietly looked into” free agent starting pitcher and longtime San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported. A multitude of reports linked various other teams to Bumgarner, also.

Per 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station John Gambadoro, the team does like the free agent pitcher, but have yet to make an offer.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman stoked the Bumgarner rumors early Tuesday morning, reporting the D-backs did in fact make an offer, but it “was seen as light.” Heyman added Arizona would be a “place he’d like to be,” referencing The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Bumgarner will seek a deal worth more than $100 million for over five years.

The news was only one of many additions to the rumor mill as general managers and agents chat at baseball’s Winter Meetings, which got underway in San Diego this week. But it’s notable that the D-backs were specifically mentioned among teams inquiring about Bumgarner, who has finished top-10 in Cy Young Award voting four times.

The 2014 World Series MVP has regressed from his old self, but he’s still an effective pitcher. The 30-year-old had a 3.90 ERA in 2019, pitching 207.2 innings with a 1.127 WHIP. He had a very solid 4.72 strikeout-to-walk ratio, averaging 1.9 walks per nine innings to go with 203 strikeouts on the season.

The Diamondbacks’ need for starting pitching is up for debate. The organization certainly has enough bodies to fill the starting rotation; Robbie Ray, Luke Weaver, Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Mike Leake, Alex Young, Jon Duplantier and Taylor Clarke are among those who could eat innings as a starter.

On the other hand, the departure of Zack Greinke means it’s less clear whether the D-backs have a bona fide ace in the fold.

Bumgarner is a four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion who has spent the entirety of his career with San Francisco up to this point. That means he’s faced the Diamondbacks quite a bit; he owns a career 3.13 ERA in 19 starts at Chase Field.

The longtime Giants ace also isn’t a bad hitter; Bumgarner owns a career .532 OPS with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs in 679 plate appearances. In 2019, he hit only .127 but had two homers and nine walks.


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