Bob Nightengale of USA Today has dropped plenty of good bits of information about the SF Giants recently including who they might target in free agency. The latest bit pertains to how the Arizona Diamondbacks plan to handle veteran lefty Madison Bumgarner going forward.
Report: Arizona Diamondbacks hope to trade former SF Giants lefty
Nightengale reveals that the Diamondbacks plan to bring back Bumgarner next season with the hopes of trading him if he performs well. That is a big if because the southpaw has struggled badly since signing a five-year, $85 million pact with the Diamondbacks before the 2020 season.
The Diamondbacks have already begun to signal the end of the Bumgarner era in Arizona as he was shut down prematurely so the organization could take a look at some of their younger pitchers.
It is odd, in my personal opinion, to no longer consider Bumgarner a young pitcher because it does not feel that long ago when he was shutting down a Kansas City Royals lineup to help San Francisco win its third championship in five years.
However, 2014 was a long time ago at this point and that is especially true for the 33-year-old hurler. Since joining Arizona, the lefty has struggled to the tune of a 4.98 ERA, 5.04 FIP, 1.33 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, and a 2.63 SO/W ratio in 65 starts.
His 2022 numbers do not look much different as he posted a 4.88 ERA with a 4.85 FIP in 30 starts. I suppose the good news is that he still found a way to soak up 158.1 innings for the Diamondbacks but there were not nearly enough quality innings recorded.
Bumgarner never relied on premium velocity, but his four-seam fastball has struggled to stay above 90 MPH in recent seasons. Perhaps, it is not surprising given that he has tallied over 2,100 innings in his career. There is a lot of mileage on his arm, and eventually the quality stuff and sharpness erodes.
Giants fans will always fondly remember Bumgarner's 11 seasons with San Francisco. Without him, they might not have won all three championships. Hopefully, he can find a way to regain the form that once made him a postseason legend.