For years, the formula at Oracle Park was simple. Draft and develop contributors and then lock them up to lucrative extensions.
It was a plan that kept Giants fans and players happy, but over time it became clear it was not sustainable. The Giants are more pragmatic these days, and that showed in the negotiations with Madison Bumgarner. The Giants were in it until the end, but Bumgarner ultimately found more money elsewhere.
The Giants offered a four-year deal just above $70 million, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned. That fell short of the five-year $85 million deal Bumgarner reportedly has agreed to with the Diamondbacks. The Giants presented a higher average annual value but were unwilling to go to a fifth year for Bumgarner, who turned 30 in August.
It’s unclear if anyone else out there was willing to offer the fifth year that ultimately may have been a tipping point. Bumgarner’s side sought a deal in excess of $100 million over the last week, meeting with the Giants and Dodgers at the Winter Meetings as the left-hander’s market started to come into place.
While the Dodgers were serious about their pursuit, they never intended to get into the $100 million range. Instead, it was another NL West team that stepped up with the winning offer.
There would be no hometown discount this time. Bumgarner signed his first long-term deal as a 22-year-old, taking lifetime security and $35 million guaranteed, with two option years that were picked up. When he hit free agency for the first time, Bumgarner looked to make up for that below-market deal. The Diamondbacks were the ones most willing to help him do that.