Compared to the Matt Cain extension press conference, today’s gathering to officially announce and chat about Madison Bumgarner’s extension was very low key. Cain’s been around much longer, he was nearing free agency and the money was bigger (although Bumgarner could make over $70 million over the life of his extension if he reaches Super Two status and maxes out his options in 2018 and 2019).
It might not be as significant in terms of buzz or bucks, but in terms of baseball the Bumgarner extension could very well prove even more beneficial to the Giants than the Cain deal. While Bumgarner stopped short of admitting it, he may have felt more comfortable going with the security of a long-term deal that’ll cover between one and three free agency years after seeing Cain sign his 5-year extension just a couple weeks ago.
“I’m excited to be here with Cain,” Bumgarner said.
“It’s definitely nice knowing that he’s going to be here the same amount of time that I’m going to be. He’s been a mentor my whole career.”
Bobby Evans and the Giants had until March 11 to get Bumgarner’s 1-year deal done, and set a target to get a long-term deal done by the end of Spring Training. Even though they didn’t hit that deadline, they still locked down Bumgarner — like Cain a first round draft pick who panned out well, to put it mildly.
So how about a couple other Giants who were drafted in the first round … Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey?
“We’ve made no secret of our strategy. Our strategy is to lock up every homegrown player that we can. It doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to lock up every homegrown player,” said Larry Baer. “We love Timmy and we came to an agreement with him on a 2-year deal, but we’ll continue to evaluate everybody, including Timmy.”
By no means do the Giants want Lincecum to feel like he’s been neglected or forgotten.
“We spoke with Timmy’s agent as well today, just because we see the future in both those two guys and it’s important for us to make sure they know that,” Evans said.
Check out the video below for Evans’ thoughts on the Posey situation. My take: it sure seems like Posey’s going to be a lot harder to sign. Remember, it came down to the final hours whether or not the Giants were going to be able to sign Posey after drafting him 5th overall in 2008.
With the Phillies in town, John Shea asked Bumgarner about his thoughts on the Giants’ rotation, particularly with Philadelphia thought by many to have the best rotation in the game. Bumgarner, who mostly spoke softly and kept his words to a minimum this afternoon, didn’t exactly take issue with Shea’s question. But he clearly doesn’t think the Giants’ staff looks up to anyone.
“Just look at the numbers. We’ve got a pretty good rotation ourselves. They obviously have a good one and one of the best, but you know, who knows how good we’re going to be in a couple of years?” Bumgarner said. “I think we can be just as good, if not better.”
Check out Bumgarner’s body language at the end of Shea’s question. Nothing bothers these guys more than hearing about how great the Phillies are. Perhaps because they beat Halladay, Lee and the rest during the 2010 Postseason?
I asked the last question of the presser.
Some pitchers, like Lincecum, would rather wait and let their free agent years play out, or so they might have said. Did you ever think about that yourself as that being an option, because you’re going to be hitting free agency at a pretty young age?
Bumgarner: Yeah, definitely, there’s two sides to it. It comes down to what’s best for you and your family. I felt that this was the right decision for us to make. I’m excited to be here and not have to worry about that stuff now, just go out and pitch and that’s all I need to focus on, so kind of took a weight off my shoulders, so to speak. Just excited to be here and happy they wanted to lock me up for that long.