Few pitchers in Giants' history have endeared themselves to the San Francisco faithful more than Madison Bumgarner.
The current free agent pitcher won three World Series with the Giants and statistically is the most dominant starter in MLB postseason history.
There are reports that Bumgarner would like to return to the organization he spent his first 11 professional seasons with, but the four-time All-Star reportedly is drawing plenty of interest as one of the top arms on the market.
“(Bumgarner) is a free agent and we’re in communication there,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told season ticket-holders during a recent Q&A at Oracle Park, via The Athletic. “And he’s going to vet all of his options. Being a free agent is something guys aspire to. It’s nice to be at a point in your career where you’re getting courted and can look around at your options.”
Zaidi faced some mixed feedback from long-time fans who feel like the front office has “taken the heart” of the team away by non-tendering a clubhouse leader like Kevin Pillar and bringing in a manager with some significant off-the-field baggage in Gabe Kapler.
But despite Bumgarner’s Bay Area ties, Zaidi understands the North Carolina native may opt to join a team closer to where the 30-year-old grew up.
“Obviously, he has roots in other parts of the country that may be attractive to him,’’ Zaidi said. “It’s his decision. That’s the beauty of free agency for players. But we are going to be involved in that process.”
Communication is the first step in any negotiation, but the Giants will need more than that to lure Bumgarner away from suitors willing to pay top-dollar for the veteran ace.