In many ways, the parting of the greatest World Series pitcher in history, Madison Bumgarner, with the team of the decade, the SF Giants, had to happen. But it was a very sad day for devoted Giants fans none the less.
The parting had to happen mostly due to the Giants’ past spending sprees that didn’t pan out and left the Giants with an aging roster who were over paid for their diminishing production. The saddest part was that the Giants locked up Madbum for a guaranteed $35 million contract when he was 22 and never offered him an extension. He pitched so well that the deal quickly became a steal for the Giants. Instead of giving MadBum a contract deserving of his accomplishments, the Giants paid Matt Cain $112.5 million for 5 years, Buster Posey $167 million for 9 years, Brandon Crawford $75 million and Brandon Belt $79 million. What was worse is that they paid $220 million for free agent pitchers, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija and another $62 million for closer Mark Melacon. While I understand why Posey, Cain, Crawford and Belt got their paydays, it’s hard to comprehend why they wouldn’t reward MadBum but instead spend googles of money on Cueto, Samardzija, and Melacon. After all, Cain, Posey, Crawford, Belt, and MadBum were all instrumental in the Giants winning 3 World Series titles in this decade. MadBum, who was the biggest prize of all during their World Series runs, was the only one who didn’t get his payday.
In 2017, ownership was finally wanting to reward MadBum. But, in April of that year, MadBum seriously hurt his pitching shoulder in a dirt bike accident and everything changed. The relationship between management and MadBum never was the same after the accident. When Farhan Zaidi became the GM, one could see the writing on the wall as he wanted his team to get younger and more productive with lower salaries. Funny how another dirt bike accident back in 2002 ended the Giants’ career of Jeff Kent.
In their half-hearted effort this past month, the Giants offered Madbum $70 million for 4 years but he opted to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $85 million over 5 years. With the Giants leaving MadBum out in the cold for all of his glory years, it was time for MadBum to leave the Giants out in the cold.
I don’t believe that there was any vindictiveness on the parts of either MadBum or the Giants as they parted ways. MadBum loved his years with the Giants and would have cherished retiring as a Giants. But unfortunate circumstances and poor spending judgements made by the Giants made this more of a business decision than it really needed to be.
I wish MadBum all the best in his future and thank him for something that I never thought I would see in my lifetime, a World Series title… Not only one but THREE !!!