Oracle Park

When Madison Bumgarner, D-backs first play Giants in San Francisco

When Madison Bumgarner, D-backs first play Giants in San Francisco

Wipe your tears and mark your calendars. It's time to get ready for Madison Bumgarner's return to San Francisco. 

The longtime Giants ace and World Series hero reportedly agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. With MadBum reportedly staying in the NL West, Giants fans still will be able to see the legendary lefty plenty of times. 

Giants fans won't have to wait long to see Bumgarner back in San Francisco. The D-backs visit Oracle Park for a four-game series from April 6-9. 

That won't be the first time Bumgarner faces the Giants, though. San Francisco's second series of the 2020 season is in Arizona, from March 30 to April 1.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi met with Bumgarner's representatives at the MLB Winter Meetings, but it always seemed like a long shot the 30-year-old pitcher would return to San Francisco. 

[RELATED: Giants announce Oracle Park changes with new dimensions]

Bumgarner, a three-time World Series winner, was looking to earn a big payday in his first free-agency tour while hoping to sign with a winner. The Giants, however, clearly are building towards 2021 and beyond as their roster becomes younger. 

Pour one -- or seven -- out and fire off a snot rocket. The Madison Bumgarner Era is over in San Francisco, but he isn't going too far away. 

MLB rumors: Brandon Belt would fit Brewers, according to rival execs


MLB rumors: Brandon Belt would fit Brewers, according to rival execs

The new dimensions at Oracle Park meant bringing in the fences. This also meant great news for first baseman Brandon Belt ... that is, if he remains with the Giants.

MLB insider Robert Murray reported Friday that rival executives believe Belt would be an ideal fit for the Brewers.

As Murray stated in his tweet, Belt is owed a chunk of change over the next two years, but having him at first base every day and bringing a lefty bat into the lineup would prove beneficial for Milwaukee.

The Brewers would be able to have Ryan Braun back in left field more permanently as opposed to switching off with Ben Gamel. If the lineup were out today, Braun would more than likely take over at the first base position.

The Giants have been using Buster Posey as a platoon at first base for the past few seasons in an effort to save his knees, and the team would likely give Posey more time at first base if this more were to come to fruition.

Let's circle back to the enhancement Belt's bat could possess with these new outfield measurements for a moment.

Belt is one of the biggest victims to fall to the park's infamous Triples Alley. His 25 triples at home across his career is a start. Additionally, he almost doubles his Oracle Park home run total when he's on the road. Playing in San Francisco Belt notched 47 homers -- and when he's on the road? 82.

[RELATED: Five things we learned about Giants at Winter Meetings]

Belt spoke to Giants insider Alex Pavlovic back in April and said he was torn on the changes being made at the park formerly known as AT&T. He liked the idea of knowing he could limit hitters at a pitcher's park, but when it's his turn to hit, it results in the opposite.

The change would shave off 11 feet and could create a boost in confidence for him at the plate. Whether that's a determinant remains to be seen. 

Giants announce changes to Oracle Park, move bullpens to outfield

Giants announce changes to Oracle Park, move bullpens to outfield

On the first day of the Winter Meetings, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi joked that Brandon Belt might often be checking his phone these days for updates on exactly how much the Giants would be chopping out of Triples Alley. On Thursday the Giants finally made their new dimensions official, with changes that aren't all that drastic and still will keep Oracle Park as a pitchers' park with a deep alley in right-center.

It still will be difficult for left-handed hitters to yank the ball out in Triples Alley, but the Giants did change enough that offense should get a slight boost. 

With the bullpens moving from foul territory to the outfield, Triples Alley will be cut from 421 feet to 415. The wall will be five feet closer in left-center and eight feet closer in straightaway center. The bullpens will be situated in center field on either side of the garden that already exists out there. 

"Obviously it's something that started off really as a safety issue with some of what we've seen over the last couple of years, but there's going to be a fun baseball element," Zaidi said earlier this week. "We've done a lot of studies on how we think it's going to impact things but until you actually start playing games and the ball starts flying, you're never quite sure how it's going to go. It'll be a fun and exciting time."

It'll also be a much different look for relievers and fans who sit out in the bleachers. The Giants announced that several bleacher seats will directly overlook the bullpens and they will have two new standing-room terraces out there for fans. The garden in center field will also provide a direct view into the Giants' bullpen. 

[RELATED: Giants announce eight additions to coaching staff]

For the players, the bullpens will have padded chain link openings in the wall so they can watch the game. The centerfield wall will also be one foot shorter, going from eight to seven feet, which could aid a hitter or two every year but may also make it easier for the centerfielder to rob an opposing batter. 

The Giants expect a touch more offense from the new look, but as they ran studies in recent months, they discovered that the weather was actually the main factor in knocking down potential home runs. The heavy air will still be there at night, protecting pitchers and frustrating hitters. 

That'll be good news for Giants relievers. The press release continued one more bit of important news for that group. Both bullpens will have their own bathroom for players.