Should the SF Giants take a flyer on Madison Bumgarner?

Arizona Diamondbacks v St. Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Madison Bumgarner's tenure in an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform came to an unceremonious end after he was designated for assignment on Thursday. The question that is on everyone's mind is whether the Giants should try to reunite with the left-handed hurler? The short answer is no.

Should the SF Giants take a flyer on Madison Bumgarner?

Bumgarner's tenure with San Francisco came to an end after the 2019 season. He signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a five-year, $85 million deal. It was tough to see him go, but the writing had been on the wall for some time.

The 33-year-old signed a very team-friendly five-year, $35 million deal early in his career. This included a pair of team options for 2018 and 2019. It was no secret that this was one of the best bargains in baseball.

Bumgarner was poised to land a massive contract at some point in his career. There was hope that the Giants would extend him beyond his initial contract but changes in the front office and performance regression made that unlikely. He landed with Arizona but the Diamondbacks decided to cut ties just weeks into the fourth year of that deal.

Should the Giants take a chance on him? The answer is no for both performance and non-performance reasons. Bumgarner just was not good with the Diamondbacks. In parts of four seasons, the lefty posted a 5.23 ERA, 5.18 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, and a 2.38 SO/W ratio. This includes a brutal 10.26 ERA in four starts in 2023.

There is little evidence to suggest that he can help the Giants. His fastball velocity has dipped below 90 MPH while has curveball and slider offerings just do not have the sharpness that they once had. Perhaps, he could work out of the bullpen?

That could be a possibility. However, Bumgarner was ineffective regardless of how many turns through the lineup he was facing. Opposing hitters posted an .860 OPS last year against Bumgarner in the first turn through the lineup, which does not suggest that he could be more effective as a reliever at this point. Plus, today's relievers typically need premium velocity and that is just not Bumgarner.

Then, there are non-performance reasons as to why a reunion would not be a good idea. There was a long stretch of time where it felt like the Giants were invincible with Bumgarner on the mound. Sure, that waned near the end of his tenure but that is how I remember him in a Giants uniform.

You do not get that feeling overnight. Bumgarner proved again and again that he was one of the best big-game pitchers of his era. That 2014 World Series parade would not have been possible without the veteran southpaw.

Oftentimes, when players reunite with their old team, the situation is just not the same. The Giants have done this in the past and it has rarely turned into a positive experience. I have a feeling that could be the case with Bumgarner and I just want to remember him as the pitcher he was when that bullpen gate swung open in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals.

Of course, that image and many more will be remembered forever. However, I feel like a reunion would just add memories that are more painful than positive.

I hope Bumgarner lands somewhere and gets a chance to continue pitching. The Texas Rangers seem like a possible landing spot given that Bruce Bochy is the manager. I hope he can regain the form that he once had, but at this point, I would rather see him do that elsewhere.