San Francisco Giants: Top 5 teams targeting Madison Bumgarner

San Francisco Giants (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

5. San Francisco Giants

It’s difficult to make a list of top suitors for Madison Bumgarner and not include the San Francisco Giants.

But they’re doing everything they can to distance themselves from the possibility of a 2020 reunion.

A year ago, it would have seemed unfathomable to think that Bumgarner would sign anywhere else but the San Francisco Giants when his contract was up.

There was no denying that the Giants would be rebuilding, but Bumgarner was the quintessential lifer.

Fast forward a full season of baseball, the retirement of Bruce Bochy, and a completely different approach by the brain trust of Farhan Zaidi and company — “company” now including Gabe Kapler — things are different.

The Giants were quick to offer Bumgarner the one-year qualifying offer of about $18 million. That was a no-brainer.

It was also a no-brainer for Bumgarner to reject the offer and test the market. His yearly annual average will easily be about $20 million.

Must Read. San Francisco Giants: Farhan Zaidi clearly not focused on pleasing fans. light

What going through the formalities of making that offer did for the Giants was setting them up for whenever Bumgarner does indeed sign elsewhere.

As a result of Bumgarner rejecting the qualifying offer, San Francisco would receive a compensatory pick if he signs anywhere else. In addition, they could even receive additional international bonus money from the team that signs him.

There’s still a possibility that the San Francisco Giants could lure their postseason legend back to the Bay if they throw enough money at him.

It would have to be at least at or even above market value but paying Bumgarner $25 million a year—and possibly offering five years for it — could tempt him to stay put. The back end of the deal might not look fantastic, but he’d preserve the image of the franchise.

The Giants haven’t been afraid of ripping their fans’ hearts out by cutting ties with likable players, however.

Just days ago, the team non-tendered fan-favorite Kevin Pillar to make room for younger prospects getting some spotlight in the bigs. That trend could follow with Bumgarner.

Farhan Zaidi hasn’t exactly quelled any apprehension either. While he admits that there’s been communication between the Giants front office and Bumgarner, it sounds like Zaidi has already come to terms with MadBum’s departure.

"“Obviously, he has roots in other parts of the country that may be attractive to him. It’s his decision. That’s the beauty of free agency for players. But we are going to be involved in the process.”"

The translation of that above quote might read, “Buh bye Bumgarner.”

The reality is that Zaidi probably sees Bumgarner as being an analytically replaceable asset that will be making far more than he’s worth. He’ll never come out and say it, but he’d rather look elsewhere than be saddled with a terrible contract on the back end.

It’s not impossible that Bumgarner re-signs with the Giants, but it sure doesn’t look like it’s probable.