Monday, April 16, 2012

Your 2012 Giants: Bumgarner Signs 5 year Extension for $35M

John Shea has news here and then Andy Baggarly here.

The details:
If he doesn’t qualify for Super 2 status, he’ll make $750,000 in 2013, $3.75 million in 2014, $6.75 million in 2015, $9.75 million in 2016 and $11.5 million in 2017.

If he does qualify as a Super 2 (by being among the top 22 percent in service time among players with two-plus years), the numbers would be $3 million in 2013, $5.5 million in 2014, $7 million in 2015, $10 million in 2016 and $12 million in 2017.

He gets a $1 million signing bonus with a $1.5 million optional buyout.

Bumgarner is signed through his first year of free agency, and the deal includes two option years: a club/vesting option for 2018 and a club option for 2019.
Shea also noted that according to SFX, which represents Bumgarner, this is the biggest guarantee for a pitcher with just one-plus years of service time.

Baggarly noted in addition:

The contract also includes two club options for $12 million in 2018 and ’19, and both have escalators based on the Cy Young Award. If Bumgarner wins the Cy Young at any point during the contract, both option years would be worth $16 million. If he has a second- or third-place finish in the Cy Young balloting at any point, the options would be worth $14 million.

Two more things about the option years:

The Giants have a buyout of $1.5 million that can apply to either option year. And the first option can become guaranteed (not a player option) if Bumgarner throws 200 innings in 2017 or 400 innings between 2016-17.

Doing the math: If Bumgarner is a super-two, he maxes out both options and the Giants exercise them, the total value of the contract could be worth as much as $70.5 million.

Oh, and Bumgarner has a limited no-trade clause in which he can name eight teams annually to which he cannot be dealt. The no-trade takes effect this season.

And two more things about the contract in general:

Bumgarner’s $560,000 contract for this season, which was signed in March, remains unchanged. Except he gets a $1 million signing bonus in the extension, half of which is payable this year and half next year.

Giants Thoughts

Wow, I had written a post talking about the odds of signing our starters to a long term deal (never published), and I thought Bumgarner had low odds of signing a long term deal, mainly for two reasons.   One was that his family is very linked with where they live, they call it "Bumtown" because of their presence there, he bought a farm there with his wife, so I thought that he would want to move on to Atlanta as a free agent as soon as he is able.  Not only are his arbitration years covered by this deal, but also his first free agent year and potentially his second and third years as well. 

Second, he and the Giants had that disagreement over how much money he was to get in 2011, and the Giants went ahead and renewed his contract at their offer, as was their right, but Madison could not have been happy about that.  I thought that would cost the Giants in any future negotiations.

Then again, this is $35M for 5 years ($7M per season), $40M if he is Super-Two ($8M per season), covering 5 seasons should his arm or body gives out at any point, so it is a bit of coin as well.  Remember, one of the worries about Bumgarner when he was drafted was that his arm motion was cross-body and apparently there are potential future injury concerns regarding that.  That is why he had horrible starts to his first pro season, the Giants tried to change his mechanics, or so the hearsay I read at some point, and he just couldn't get it to work, but once he went back to his original delivery, his arm was golden.  I have to guess the Giants medical staff gave his arm a good bill of health in spite of the stress on his arm up to now. 

Still, the contract "only" covers to age 27 plus possibly 28 and 29 if the options are picked up or vested, so he will still be very young when the time comes for him to turn free agent. 
I think this is a great deal for the Giants, with a modicum of risk, but that probably was necessary to get a long term deal signed.  I'll take it, because Bumgarner can be one of the premiere starters in the league once he gets a few more seasons under his belt, and he's already pretty good as is right now.  After his bad start to the 2011 season, in 29 starts, he had 187.2 IP with 2.79 ERA, 182 K's and only 36 BB for a 5.1 K/BB ratio (best starters are above 2.2 and ideally over 2.4; yes, he's that far above).  And in 2010, after his first bad start, in 17 starts, he had 104.0 IP with 2.86 ERA, 81 K's and only 25 BB for a 3.2 K/BB ratio.  So if Madison can get his early season struggles under control, he could end the season with an under 3 ERA with a lot of strikeouts and few walks.

The only negative that I never noticed before is that his BABIP for the above two sequences was .323 BABIP in 2011, .322 BABIP in 2010.  Pitchers that are that bad with BABIP usually get flushed out, but because Madison walks so few plus strikes out so many, he is more than surviving that negative.  Of course, the DIPS rule is that he should regress to .300 BABIP, and hey, that just means that he'll be even better than he has been doing.  Scary good.

Good Core Set of Young Players

Now the Giants have Sandoval, Cain and Bumgarner signed for long term contracts.  Lincecum is covered for 2012-13.  This is mostly what I had been hoping for this past off-season, getting our young core players signed long term, hopefully Lincecum is serious about wanting a longer term deal beyond the two year deal.  I can wait for next off-season for that to happen.

I still would like to see Buster Posey get signed to a long extension sometime in the next year or so.  I understand the reticience not to before, since we don't know how his body would respond and how he would come back.  Probably not going to get something done this season, but hopefully by next off-season.  According to an MLB Trade Rumors post I just ran across, the Giants are looking into signing Posey and Lincecum long-term (check here for that post for more info on that pearl from Bobby Evans) and both sides expressed interest in such a deal.

And I know it is early, but as I noted as a possibility during the offseason, if Melky Cabrera looks pretty good, we should look into signing him up long-term before he becomes a free agent.  The Giants don't have to do that now, but I hope they are at least letting Melky's agent feel some love and at least greasing the wheels for such a move before the season ends, so that we can get him signed before he goes free agent, once that decision is made by Giants management.  With only Gary Brown (especially with his scuffling in Richmond right now) and Francisco Peguero looking good in the minors (though Roger Kieschnick is renewing his prospect status with a great start this season in AAA, which shows what he can do when he isn't injured, as he was in prior season). 

As it is, the Giants have a pretty good core set of players that they are relying on to lead them to future championships and titles.  Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner in the rotation, and Bumgarner is potentially the best of the group if he can get it all together.  Posey, Sandoval, Cabrera in the middle of the lineup, plus Belt (I still think he'll be good eventually; remember, Matt Williams took a few seasons to figure it out in the majors, he used to strike out a lot too).  And despite his early struggles, I think Gary Brown will eventually be leading off for us and terrorizing pitchers and catchers across the majors and Joe Panik will be a good hitter up top for us too, in the #2 spot.

This is why I still feel good about my prediction/proclaimation of the Giants being the team of the 2010's, it will be their decade, and now that they have Cain and now Bumgarner signed into the second half of the decade, it is looking like a lot better prediction than it did pre-2010, when I was saying that for a few years already.  This is why I've been saying that we should stay the course and keep the current management in place, at least until they screw up something badly, like not signing Cain or Bumgarner to long-term extensions.  Check and check.


  1. Good signing. Win-win for both Bumgarner and the Giants. The future is looking very bright!

  2. I never bought into the "MadBum wants to ride his tractor" argument about being closer to home. These guys are all professional athletes, they have the offseason and the rest of their lives to farm, drive pickups, tractors and what not. SF is a rabid fan base, a sold out park, a good time. Giants fans tend to underestimate this in their worrying about losing Posey, Cain, etc. The dollar rules, as long as the Giants are willing to spend THAT is the factor, not some southern home cooking close to home. Besides, the Braves are way cheaper than the Giants. Posey said the right things about wanting to be a Giant for life yesterday. And the Giants said the right things about locking up Posey and Timmy. They are doing exactly what they need to do. I'm pumped.

    1. Well, I never was one to think he wanted to ride his tractor, but certainly I thought he wanted to be closer to home, his family, and his wife and horses (I think they raise horses). :^)

      I agree that fans tend to underestimate the player's enjoyment of the amenities of a Giants fanbase.

      I think the greater underestimate, as you note, is how much the almighty dollar is a powerful and irresistable draw for any team. I think I underestimated the power as well, especially in MadBum's case. Given that Madison's arm could go just like that, at any time, a guaranteed $35M no matter what else happens is a great incentive to sign what many consider to be a team friendly deal.

      I find that funny, team friendly, as I see all the articles extolling how the Giants could benefit if things work out as it appears it will, but as the Padres learned with Jake Peavy and Tigers with Dontrelle, sometimes things just go really wrong and that cheap $35M contract is suddenly an expensive mistake, at least in hindsight.

      At the going $5M/WAR rate used in saber-circles, that works out to Madison needing to produce 7.0 WAR over the life of the contract for the Giants to break even. He had 2.8 WAR last season, or roughly 3.0 WAR, so if he can produce a little more than two seasons like 2011 for us, plus change, we break even over the 6 years we have him under contract right now (his 2012 contract is unchanged, other than the limited no trade provision).

      So the Giants to have some degree of risk in the contract, but it's purely gravy after a little more than 2 seasons like 2011 (or 2010) going forward, so the risk is minimal at this point, given that he appears to be healthy like a horse right now.

      I'm pumped too, all the right things is spot on, you are right.

      Not sure what your reference about the Braves being way cheaper means, though.

    2. The Braves stick to a hard budget much more than the Giants have. They have spiked twice (2003 and 2008) over 100MM but for the most part stick right at 90MM. They give the same budget line as our crew, not sure if they have to endure the same whining about it though. Although the Braves control a huge swath of the south, and have a big national audience thanks to the old TBS superstation, they don't draw particularly well and won't have large amounts of money in the future to go crazy on the free agent market. They have always been mentioned as the preferred destination for Cain, MadBum and Posey. I have my doubts on that one, partly because they have a smaller budget then us and no big tradition of making splashy free agent moves to boot. So I called them cheap. It was a sly dig.

    3. Cool, thanks, wasn't sure if the knock on noggin made me not get that or not. :^)

      Don't really know the South that well, but I pegged Maddy (I just found out he hates "MadBum" as a nickname; apparently some have took to calling him "Bumbo" too, so that could explain his chip on his shoulder that he has shown before) for Atlanta, and Posey for Florida, either team. Cain just never seemed attached to Tennessee, to me at least, and I always felt he was attached to the Giants, as he would often speak well of the team and city, in particular, citing his lack of a boyhood team that he identified and thus the Giants are the only team he's ever rooted for. I didn't peg him at 100% staying, but I thought we had the best chance of keeping him.

      In the post I wrote but never put into blogger, I thought Cain most likely to sign an extension, Dirty least likely to sign an extension. I also had low odds on getting Lincecum and Bumgarner long-term, but with Tim over Madison, because I thought money would talk more with him than Bumgarner.

      But I should have realized that a contract offering the biggest amount ever guaranteed a pitcher would be pretty good incentive for Madison to sign long term, like the Cain deal, it is hard for a player to turn down that much money in a contract.

      Here are two good articles on Maddy (nicknamed used by family in one article, so I'm using that for now):

      I figured it was a sly dig, but I just couldn't figure out what you meant. Thanks for the explanation.

    4. Bumgarner mentioned Cain's mentoring and contract extension as a factor in him wanting to lock up a long term deal with the Giants. He wanted to continue to be Cainer's sidekick.

    5. Yeah, thanks for pointing that out DrB, I was pleasantly surprised to see Bumgarner note that in his press conference that Cain's influence was a factor in him returning. They do make a great pair atop any rotation.

      I wonder if them being Southern Boys helped with the bonding.

      I'll also admit that I read more into Maddy's home and family situation than I should have. With all the stuff about Bumtown and buying a horse farm, and all that, I did have a mental image of a wealthy family background and very close knit family - country farmers if you will - that I was totally off on. With a divorce in his background and the whole "dusthead" economic backdrop in his region, baseball could have been a type of escape and alternate family for him.

      And one thing I had thought about long ago but had not brought up regarding Madison is that he was pretty much lost at the start of the 2010 season and he could not bring himself out of it, but Tidrow came in, did his magic, and suddenly he's the (future) $35M man. I know I would be greatly appreciative to the team and to Tidrow for correcting such a huge problem in my mechanics.

      Of course, it helped that he got the most lucrative contract for a player in his situation, if I understand all the news right.

  3. Now the pressure is on these men to perform at a high level year after year. We have most of the core locked up except Posey. The pressure is also on the S&D to find us some fill-ins around them because the owners have shown that they will not invest every single dollar into the team. However this does take some sting outta losing WIllie. Good PR move. Just need Timmy to bring it. For the record I started out 0-6 with him and the finished 17-6 with him on THE Show 12' so hopefully that was something. He'll get right!!!

    1. I hadn't mentioned this anywhere yet, but I wonder if Lincecum was pitching to his big new contract his first few games.

      His history is that when there is the pressure of a new experience - first pro game, first MLB game, opening day, home opening day, World Series - he does not handle it very well, then correct himself afterward. I think that contributed to his extended one month bad streak early in his career: after cruising great for a month, he had a bad start and started mentally battling himself for another month, before righting himself.

      So for now, I'm not worried too much about him, though I obviously would love to see him be normal. His recovery after the first inning was encouraging in his last start, so that is a positive as well. I might start worrying if this extended for more than a month, and if it is the contract making him antsy like this, I think going with 2 year deals, one at a time, is probably the best strategy with him, to help keep the pressure down on him.

  4. This is good. And, it's also good waiting just a little for Posey, Timmy and Melky. Though I'm encouraged - being out of state, I didn't get to see last night's game, but despite the headlines, sounds like Lincecum pitched a decent game last night. Presumably, hopefully, there isn't an actual issue with him, but, I was thinking last evening that because he has such complicated mechanics, and I get the impression he's very conscientious about it being "right", that his career will have adjustment periods. A bad series of starts now and again is part of the package. Which is better than blowing out his elbow forcing it. I know there's "hurt pitchers and pitchers who haven't been hurt - yet" but he may end up healthier than most.

    1. Yes, good observation, anon, thanks. There was the one month in his first season, and he had a couple last season, if I remember right, and in August in the World Series championship season as well. That does seem to be part of the package, for him to be lost for a month at a time when his mechanics go off.

      And that makes sense. He probably has the most complex mechanics of any pitcher in the game today. One small thing or hitch could affect his whole mechanism. It could throw him off.

      Given his athleticism, I've been hopeful that he'll be healthier than most as well. It helps that he comes from good genes, his father is still throwing in the 80's MPH even though he's in his 50's.



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