San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner is gone, but it’s likely for the best

San Francisco Giants (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants may have said goodbye to longtime ace, Madison Bumgarner, on Sunday, but it was likely in both sides’ best interest to move on.

The San Francisco Giants officially said goodbye to a longtime friend on Sunday. Yes, this was an expected development, but seeing Madison Bumgarner officially sign with another team was a surreal sight.

And truthfully, it isn’t really going to feel real until he dons an Arizona Diamondbacks jersey and steps on to the mound with them for the first time next season.

Giants fans are going through a mixed array of emotions right now.

On one hand, this was the expected outcome all along. The Giants clearly weren’t making much of an effort to re-sign him and they certainly weren’t going to pay what it took to bring him back. We all knew that Bumgarner was a goner as soon as the offseason began.

Some may have been in denial, but there can be denial no longer. But while it may have been expected, it certainly doesn’t sting any less.

Matters were made worse with the realization that the team would have to play his new team 18 times a year. This isn’t a case of out of sight, out of mind. Bumgarner will be directly in the forefront of the Giants’ sights every time they take on the D-Backs.

But the silver lining is that at least he isn’t on the Los Angeles Dodgers. It may be a shame that he signed with a division opponent but Giants fans could at least take solace in knowing that yet another free agent declined the Dodgers offer.

See, mixed emotions indeed.

But scrambled emotions aside, this may be the move that is in the best interest of both the Giants and Bumgarner long-term — even if that upsets many Giants fans.

While it would have of course been amazing to keep Bumgarner in San Francisco forever, that simply wasn’t a feasible goal. Farhan Zaidi and the Giants were ready to move on and even though he certainly could have helped the team in the short-term, it didn’t make sense for the team’s current plans.

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Zaidi is in the process of gutting the organization of its talent from a previous era of Giants baseball. We’re talking Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford, and Brandon Belt — among many others.

Bumgarner is now gone, don’t be surprised to see the other two follow in due time.

Signing a 30-year-old Madison Bumgarner to a five-year, $85 million deal just wouldn’t have been a smart business decision given the state of the team. And after all, the Giants are making a business decision here, not a nostalgia trip.

And even for Bumgarner, it’s hard to have asked for a more fitting destination.

The Giants legend and his wife reportedly love Phoenix (side note, how could you not?) and he gets to stay in the National League where he can continue to hit. Moreover, his career numbers are solid in Chase Field and we all know he loves hitting in that ballpark.

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On top of that, the move reunites him with battery-mate Stephen Vogt who signed with Arizona earlier in the offseason.

Bumgarner will be happy in Arizona and even though it isn’t the storybook ending to his Giants career that many had envisioned a few years ago, that’s something to take solace in.

The Giants will be better off without Bumgarner as they were never going to — nor should they have — matched the contract he received. And Bumgarner will hopefully find similar success playing in an environment he is both comfortable and happy in.

If this dreaded split was going to happen, this is a pretty ideal scenario for both sides.

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It’s going to be weird seeing Madison Bumgarner wearing a Diamondbacks jersey next year, but at the end of the day, this was likely the best possible situation for both he and his beloved San Francisco Giants.