Madison Bumgarner unfazed as lowest-paid Giants starting pitcher
Madison Bumgarner’s cross-country trek from North Carolina to Scottsdale, Ariz., for spring training is supposed to take about 30 hours. But the San Francisco Giants ace decided to bring some quarterhorses along for the ride, and the trailer in which they were housed caused some breakdown-related delays.
Reporters asking about the horses elicited the following back-and-forth, via the San Jose Mercury News:
“Between one and 10,” he said.
What are their names?
“They’re named one to 10,” he said.
An expected response from such a straight-shooter.
The long trip provided Bumgarner with plenty of time to contemplate the upcoming season, not to mention the arguably stunning notion that he is the least-compensated member of the Giants starting rotation, especially after the team went out and spent $220 million to upgrade the rotation with the likes of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija.
With those two pitchers assuming the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in rotation, the team boasts arguably one of the finest starting staffs in all of baseball, with Jake Peavy and Matt Cain rounding out the back end.
The Giants unquestioned ace is as no-nonsense as they come, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that he is completely unfazed by the fact that every other pitcher in the rotation will earn more this season than the $11.7 million he is slated to make, by wide margin, too, in many respects.
“No, not at all,” Bumgarner said. “I’m extremely happy for those guys, and hopefully if everything goes the way I want it to go and what I work for, that will come along in due time. But I’m not at all worried.
“When I signed my deal I knew what I wanted to do, but you never know what’s going to happen. … If we’re having this conversation, I did good. It’s a good thing you’re asking these questions.”
The deal Bumgarner is referring to is the six-year, $35 million contract he signed at before the 2012 season that includes two club options for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, after which he would become an unrestricted free agent at the age of 30 in 2020. Those two option seasons do have some escalator clauses, but as it stands, Bumgarner would earn a paltry $12 million in those years, a pittance given the immense talent he possesses that often translates into abject dominance.
It would only be fitting for Bumgarner and the Giants to figure something out sooner rather than later to make sure he’s compensated in a manner worthy of his contributions.