The Giants took care of both Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain this offseason and they hooked up their "third ace," Madison Bumgarner, as well, announcing a five-year extension for "MadBum" on Monday.
According to SFX Baseball, Bumgarner's agency, the deal is worth $35 million. So they're happy. And GM Brian Sabean sounds thrilled as well.
“Preserving our core pitching for the long term remains a top priority for the Giants and today’s extension certainly helps further that goal,” said Sabean. “Madison has already proven that he is one of the best left handed pitchers in the game today and we are confident that he will continue to succeed for many years to come.”
Bumgarner's extension will take him through his arbitration years and his first year of free agency and, according to SFX, it is the largest guaranteed contract for a pitcher with one-plus years of service time in MLB history.
Additionally, if Bumgarner qualifies for arbitration as a "Super 2" after 2012, the deal becomes worth $40 million. That seems unlikely, but it could happen.
Less than a week ago, we discussed the possibility of Bumgarner as a candidate for an extension, but noted at the time the team might be averse to such a thing because of money tied up elsewhere (ahem, Barry Zito). However, clearly the Giants agree that Bumgarner is prepped for a breakout -- his six innings of no-hit ball in Colorado indicate that as well -- and would prefer to lock him up before he becomes really expensive.
And when we talked with Grantland.com's Jonah Keri, he even went so far as to say that he'd take Bumgarner first among Giants pitchers if he was starting a team today. We agree with him, and the Giants, while they might not say it, aren't that far behind.
This is a bold deal in that it guarantees a 22-year-old pitcher $35 million and means the Giants are locked into him for the forseeable future.
But it also means that the Giants can limit their monetary exposure with additional contracts should Bumgarner really begin to explode at the major-league level.
In other words, this is precisely the type of win-win contract that Giants fans want to see coming out of their front office. With Matt Cain in the fold for the long haul as well, the Giants pitching staff should be more than formidable for the next half decade.