Giants

How Madison Bumgarner's free agency is impacted by Strasburg opting out

How Madison Bumgarner's free agency is impacted by Strasburg opting out

Mere hours after the Nationals celebrated their World Series championship with a parade in Washington D.C., news broke that Stephen Strasburg plans to opt out of the final four years and $100 million of his contract with the team, NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas confirmed.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and ESPN's Jeff Passan were first to report news of Strasburg opting out.

This news means the Fall Classic's MVP is now on the free agent market.

Strasburg's decision leaves us with a lot of questions, the main one being how will this affect free agency. Another big question ... how will this impact Madison Bumgarner?

For starters, MadBum will take yet another backseat and will no longer be one of the biggest names in the free agent pool, which means he more than likely will not be the one who gets the biggest paycheck. 

As has been reported, this will also shed $100 million of Strasburg's contract. He's going to want a lot of money, and deservedly so.

The free agent pool is filled with a lot of starting pitching talent and MadBum will be in the same group as not only Strasburg, but also Gerrit Cole. The Astros' ace had an AL-leading 2.50 ERA with an MLB-leading 326 strikeouts and 2.64 FIP. 

Strasburg boasted a 3.32 ERA during the regular season, and he did become the first pitcher ever to go 5-0 in a single postseason. 

You see what Bumgarner has to compete with?

Could this create some hope that Bumgarner stays with the Giants? This certainly increases the chances for an organization starving for starting pitching, but what team isn't?

Many players have elected to avoid the free agency process. The way it's taken a slow pace in recent years, it might not be worth it. 

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is expecting another long offseason, both for the Giants and MLB.

He gave an expected generic response saying the organization has an interest "in at least having discussions" about some of those players returning.

[RELATED: MLB playoff starters' strength reminiscent of MadBum brilliance]

Despite teams wanting to dedicate rotation spots to young arms, there is always a need for a veteran presence on the pitching staff.

Be prepared for another long offseason, folks.

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

With the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching, MLB free agency is heating up.

One of the top available pitchers -- Madison Bumgarner -- is expected to be in high demand, particularly now that Cole Hamels has signed with the Braves and Zack Wheeler reportedly has agreed to a five-year contract with the Phillies. For teams who scoff at Gerrit Cole's price tag, Bumgarner might be the logical compromise.

The Giants have been "in communication" with Bumgarner, but rumor has it another interested team has entered the mix.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to Bumgarner, citing a source.

St. Louis already has brought back veteran Adam Wainwright on a one-year deal, and after he, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson, there appears to be an opening for Bumgarner in the starting rotation. Signing with the Cardinals would not only allow Bumgarner to continue pitching in the National League, but would also allow him to continue taking his own at-bats, which we know he loves so much. He also has been linked to teams such as the Twins and White Sox, but would forfeit his at-bats to a DH in each of those situations.

[RELATED: How Wheeler's reported $118M contract could affect MadBum]

While Bumgarner is expected to receive a contract in excess of $100 million, Feinsand suggests Wheeler's reported $118 million payday might serve to increase the total.

MLB rumors: Yankees make signing free agent Gerrit Cole top priority

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MLB rumors: Yankees make signing free agent Gerrit Cole top priority

Gerrit Cole is far and away the gem of the 2019 MLB free-agent class.

The former Pirates and Astros ace led the American League in both ERA and strikeouts last season and finished just behind teammate Justin Verlander in the AL Cy Young Award race.

The team that historically always has had the deepest pockets in baseball -- the New York Yankees -- have made Cole a priority in free agency, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday, citing a source.

Cole is a Southern California native with familial ties to the Giants, a team that also features one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the MLB. San Francisco also has been mentioned as a destination for the ace, who reportedly desires a return to the West Coast.

But if the Yankees, who always have jumped to outbid every other team for talent in free agency, decide to back up the proverbial Brinks truck for the 29-year-old, the Giants might be swiftly eliminated from contention for Cole.

Reports indicate that Cole’s price tag will “shatter” the record set by David Price when he signed a $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2015.

[RELATED: Report: Giants targeted UGA's pitching coach for same role]

While San Francisco has plenty of money to spend this offseason, it likely won’t engage in a bidding war that could approach $300 million.

Even if longtime Giant and current free agent Madison Bumgarner elects to go elsewhere in free agency, it remains to be seen how much money San Francisco would be willing to shell out for an elite talent like Cole in the heart of his prime.