San Francisco Giants: What’s the timeline for a Bumgarner extension?
By Daniel Sperry
What’s the San Francisco Giants’ timeline for a Madison Bumgarner extension? Are they even going to sign him to one?
The clock is ticking for the San Francisco Giants to sign Madison Bumgarner to a long-term extension. He will likely sign one of the biggest contracts ever given to a Giant, IF that extension is going to come.
We all know that if he has a good season, and doesn’t have the dirt-bike accident, he probably signs that big boy extension this offseason. But now the Giants have time, and that’s the good thing here. They have another offseason to decide whether they’re going to sign him long term, let him walk, or trade him if they’re awful.
Madison Bumgarner’s contract remains as is (via Spotrac.com):
- 2018: $12 million (locked in, obviously)
- 2019: $12 million (club option)
- 8 team trade protection list
- Option for 2019 increases to $14m with a top three Cy Young award, $16m for a Cy Young win.
The Giants are going to pick up his 2019 option, unless he gets traded this year, which would take another miserable, terrible season for them to even think of trading him.
Madison Bumgarner is likely not going to be an unrestricted free agent until 2020. That would be after he turns 30. I am not really a fan of the Giants giving contracts of more than 4-5 years to players in their 30s. I’d be willing to make an exception for Bumgarner, as long as he’s not asking to be the richest pitcher in history. If he is? That’s fine. More power to him.
But if I were the acting GM (if it goes south Bobby Evans is gonzo), I’d let MadBum walk if he wanted to go after $30 million a year plus, AND, I was waiting to give him a massive deal until he hits free agency.
So what do you do? Well, if I’m the Giants, I offer him a sizable extension offer when we hit spring training. At that point, you know what Yu Darvish and Jake Arrietta are going to bag. You know where Greinke and Kershaw stand, so it’s pretty easy to go that route.
The only significant free agent starters to hit the market after this season is Dallas Keuchal and Patrick Corbin. There IS the possibility of Clayton Kershaw hitting the market, but the Dodgers are set up to be good long term and that might make the opt-out less enticing. But those three are likely the only ones with enough success and the age factor to command anything close to what Bumgarner could. But 2020 is a different story.
You have Bumgarner, Chris Sale, Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, and Felix Hernandez. I could see Sale getting $30 million plus, but that’s about it. And frankly outside of Bumgarner’s postseason record, Sale has enough regular season clout to be worth the same amount of money, if not a few million more. So offering Bumgarner a reasonable long-term extension happens after this class. Here is how I would make the offer:
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7 years at $225.5 million, which includes the $1.5 million dollar buyout of the 2012 option. He gets a higher AAV than Kershaw, less than Greinke’s, but Greinke’s contract was also crazy stupid. A $20 million dollar signing bonus, and a $12 million dollar salary in 2017 with a full NTC. Give him a player option after 2021. That works out to $32.2 AAV hit that goes on their luxury tax budget through to 2025 if he doesn’t take their player option.
After this season, they will have at least $70 million in room for the luxury tax over the next 4 years. Adding a $32.2m hit to that is less than half.
If he choses not to take that and try to enter free agency, then I move on. Why? Well, I wouldn’t want to be giving that contract to someone, and paying $30m a year plus for someone playing past their 35-year-old year. At that point he’d have nearly 15 years worth of innings on his arm, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
If he’s willing to take fewer years but keep the higher AAV in there, then fine. But from a “performance value per dollar spent” standpoint, it would be foolish for the Giants to sign him to something beyond his age 35 season.
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The time frame for an extension is starting to get smaller. If I’m the Giants, the biggest contract in terms of guaranteed money and years, that I would offer has to come before spring training this season. If it doesn’t, his performances and age could start to cost him some years and dollars. If he’s not willing to understand that will be the price for not taking a deal now, that’s fine. That’s his prerogative. But from an organizational standpoint, the overall money and years would start going if he doesn’t get an extension in place for 2019.