The San Diego Padres are showing initial interest in left-handed free-agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
There is no doubt that the San Diego Padres need starting pitching for the 2020 season. With a mostly youthful staff, there is certainly a need for a frontline starter.
In recent days, the Padres have been tied to Madison Bumgarner, who makes a fascinating target for the team. The fiery pitcher has lost a tick on his fastball but was still able to throw over 207 innings last year while recording 203 strikeouts. Bumgarner has eclipsed 200 innings in seven of the previous nine years. He is a durable workhorse — the type of pitcher that refuses to give up the ball during a start.
His work ethic and tenacity would do wonders for the Padres, but there are some concerns. At the age of 30, Bumgarner has endured a harsh Major League life so far. The lefty has thrown a total of 1,896 innings (not including the playoffs) in his 11-year career. He has shown the ability to pitch with a decreased velocity, but you have to wonder if he can continue to reinvent himself on the mound. Bumgarner also allowed 30 home runs this season, which was the most he has allowed in his Major League career. Attacking hitters relentlessly has burned him with the long ball, and it will likely continue that way.
Jon Heyman reports the two sides will meet soon.
Padres have interest in Madison Bumgarner and they are going to meet at the GM meetings with MadBum’s agent Ed Cerulo. SD has also been connected to Stephen Strasburg.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 14, 2019
The Padres will have to step up if they want to secure Madison Bumgarner for the future of the franchise. There will be several teams interested in his services.
He will surely be looking for a significant contract as the Giants signed him as a 21-year-old to a team-friendly extension. The $35.5 million deal was celebrated at the time for the young pitcher as well, but he easily out-pitched the contract. In his last two seasons, Bumgarner made $12 million per season on team options. He will probably get close to double that $12 million on an annual basis from some franchise this winter.
Madison Bumgarner has an edge, but can he help lead?
MacKenzie Gore will be in the majors soon, and having a mentor like Bumgarner is an exciting concept. Both left-handed pitchers are from the state of North Carolina, and both are known to be severe competitors. Bumgarner could easily handle the questions that are sure to come for Gore. That in itself is very helpful. Factor in the value Bumgarner brings each start, and the Padres could get decent value in return from the pitcher.
At the age of 30, you have to figure there is still some life left in the pitcher’s arm. The fact he was able to pitch successfully with diminished velocity dictates that his future will be bright into his age 30 season and beyond. Can the Padres afford the asking price? Somewhere between the contract Patrick Corbin signed worth six-years and $140 million, and the deal signed by Nathan Eovaldi for four-years and $68 million seems to be the market. That is around $17-23 million per season for at least four years for Bumgarner.
The Padres are poised to make a move, and adding the slugging pitcher could be a very bold move for the Padres.