Longtime Giants ace Bumgarner, D-backs reach $85M, 5-yr deal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Longtime Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has reached agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks on an $85 million, five-year contract that ends his run of success in San Francisco, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the 2014 World Series MVP still needed to pass a physical to complete the contract.

Bumgarner pitched 11 seasons for the Giants but knew his time likely had ended. He bid farewell along with retiring manager Bruce Bochy on the final day of the season.

MadBum will see a lot of his former team early next season, too. Arizona plays the Giants in seven of its first 13 games, including a series that begins in San Francisco on April 6.

“I’m very excited to be playing with Madison again! He is the ultimate competitor and I know he will help us immensely,” said new Arizona catcher Stephen Vogt, a 2019 teammate with Bumgarner in San Francisco. “This team is already in a good position and adding someone like Bum will only add to that!”

The Giants said during the winter meetings this past week in San Diego they had remained in contact with representatives for the 30-year-old Bumgarner, who helped them win World Series titles in 2010, ’12 and ’14.

The seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers also were among the clubs interested in signing the free agent.

Bumgarner went 9-9 with a career-high 3.90 ERA last season. The lefty has been especially valuable in postseason play — he is 4-0 with a memorable Game 7 save and an 0.25 ERA in World Series play, and has pitched two shutouts in NL wild-card games.

This marks the second time in four years the typically frugal Diamondbacks have signed a top-tier free-agent pitcher. In 2015, Arizona added right-hander Zack Greinke on a $206.5 million, six-year deal.

Arizona went 85-77 last season and traded Greinke to Houston in late July. The Diamondbacks haven’t had a lot of success in October lately, not winning a game in the NL Championship Series round since taking their only World Series title in 2001.

Bumgarner will join a rotation that includes left-handers Robbie Ray and Alex Young, right-handers Merrill Kelly and Mike Leake. Ray is entering the final year of his contract.

Bumgarner matched his career high with the 34 starts this year, moving past two frustrating, injury-shortened seasons.

The four-time All-Star missed nearly three months in 2017 after an April dirt bike accident during an off day in Colorado. Then Bumgarner broke the pinkie on his pitching hand when he was hit by a line drive from Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield in his final 2018 spring training start, undergoing surgery to insert pins into the finger. He returned in June that year and wound up 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 21 starts and 129 2/3 innings.

When the 2019 season ended, Bumgarner prepared for his tenure in San Francisco to come to an end. The Giants are looking to move forward with a younger roster and smaller payroll while trying to build back into a consistent contender.

Many figured Bumgarner would be gone by the All-Star break, but the Giants opted not to trade him. The Giants exercised his $12 million contract option for 2019, the final year in a $35.56 million, six-year deal he signed in April 2012 that included $12 million club options for both 2018 and ’19.