Madison Bumgarner never expected Giants to trade him, ready to work

Madison Bumgarner never expected Giants to trade him, ready to work

PHILADELPHIA -- The trades came quickly, sending shockwaves throughout the sport and delivering a couple of body blows to the visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park. Madison Bumgarner briefly looked up at a clubhouse TV at 4:10 p.m. and then walked to his locker and grabbed his glove, running outside for a quick game of catch before the rain came. 

Bumgarner had work to do, and he had to do it for the Giants. 

After months of trade rumors and a frantic final hour, the Giants ultimately decided to hold their ace

"I never expected to be somewhere else until that happened," Bumgarner said. "Nothing has changed for me. I don't look at it as being past a hurdle. I've got a job to do and I'm going to do it."

Bumgarner could have been the biggest name to change teams Wednesday, but new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi decided to give his team a chance. The Giants did talk to teams about Bumgarner on Wednesday, but trading him would have been waving the white flag. Instead, the Giants hope he can lead them to the Wild Card Game, where nobody has ever been better than their guy. 

"He's the kind of leader that when he's on your side, you always feel like you have a chance," Zaidi said. "If you're an underdog, if you're a wild card, if you're eight games back in the standings or two games back in the standings. When you have a guy who has done what he's done and led the way he has led, he makes you feel like you always have a chance. I know the guys are excited that he's still got that uniform on his back."

Those guys included the manager. Bumgarner and Bruce Bochy are extremely close, and Bochy couldn't help but smile as he was asked his reaction. 

"I'm happy, no getting around it, that he's still here. He means so much to me," Bochy said. "To have him here the rest of my tenure is pretty cool."

This all looked like it would end differently a month ago when the Giants had a massive deficit in the standings. Bumgarner started to quietly reach out to friends on potential contenders to find out more about possible new homes. He kept tabs on the market, and in the final days Zaidi was often in touch with Bumgarner and his representatives. But the Giants never brought a deal to Bumgarner, who had an eight-team no-trade list.

Bumgarner shrugged repeatedly on Sunday when asked his thoughts about the deadline. He smiled and did the same Wednesday when asked about his future. 

"I feel the exact same, honestly," he said. "I feel I've done a good job of not letting that stuff creep into my head."

There will be more to this, of course. If the Giants fail to make the playoffs they may look back and regret not moving Bumgarner for an impact prospect or two in those frenzied final moments. Regardless, they are expected to place a qualifying offer on Bumgarner, and that could limit his market. There have been no recent extension talks, but at some point maybe that will come up.

[RELATED: Giants trade Pomeranz, Black to Brewers]

Bumgarner wasn't worried about any of that Wednesday. He's still in orange and black, and he had work to do. He starts this weekend, after all, and he wants to keep this winning run going. 

"That's why we all show up here," he said. "Nobody is here collecting paychecks. We're trying to win games."

MLB rumors: Didi Gregorius chose Phillies over Giants due to Joe Girardi

MLB rumors: Didi Gregorius chose Phillies over Giants due to Joe Girardi

The Giants added a veteran shortstop Tuesday when they acquired Zack Cosart and prospect Will Wilson in a trade with the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Wilson was the prize of the deal, but there remains a possibility that Cozart could play a considerable role in San Francisco's middle infield this coming season.

As it turns out, though, the Giants reportedly went after a different veteran shortstop before pursuing the trade with the Angels. Didi Gregorius signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies on Tuesday, and according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, Gregorius reportedly chose them over the Giants in part due to the presence of Phillies manager Joe Girardi.

Gregorius previously played under Girardi with the Yankees, and it would appear they enjoyed their time together. While his offensive numbers might have been inflated somewhat by Yankee Stadium, Gregorius remains a standout defender and he was worth at least four WAR in both 2017 and 2018.

[RELATED: New Giants prospect Wilson already hates rival Dodgers]

The Giants absorbed the entirety of the $12.67 remaining on Cozart's contract, so there isn't much of a price difference between he and Gregorius. That said, the fact that San Francisco was able to acquire the Angels' No. 4 ranked prospect along with Cozart likely made that the more prudent acquisition.

MLB rumors: Dodgers shifting focus to Madison Bumgarner in free agency

MLB rumors: Dodgers shifting focus to Madison Bumgarner in free agency

Heading into free agency, the Giants made it clear that Madison Bumgarner had earned the right to go anywhere he wanted. A couple days into the Winter Meetings, that sentiment likely remains the same, but they'd be lying if they said they didn't have a preference where he ended up.

Now that Gerrit Cole reportedly has agreed to a record-breaking nine-year contract with the New York Yankees, San Francisco apparently inched closer to its greatest nightmare.

The rival Dodgers were considered to be a finalist for Cole, and apparently they didn't waste any time pivoting once the news broke. Giants fans really, really, really won't want to hear the direction in which Los Angeles reportedly is pivoting, though, according to MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal.

If you need to go rinse the vomit taste out of your mouth, go for it. You're certainly not the only Giants fan doing so.

After everything Bumgarner achieved in San Francisco, it's unbearable to think of him exchanging his orange and black for Dodger blue. I mean, think of all the run-ins Bumgarner has had with LA over the years. Yaisel Puig. Max Muncy. Go get it out of the ocean? How about we just get this rumor out of here.


[RELATED: New Giants prospect Wilson already hates rival Dodgers]

Bumgarner is expected to receive a contract in excess of $100 million, and the Dodgers certainly have the ability to afford him. So do the Giants, though, and as NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic notes, they might be forced to revisit the situation due to their rival's reported interest.

And guess which two teams face each other on Opening Day?

The Giants are used to seeing MadBum take the mound on the first day of the season. For the sake of all that is good and holy, let's hope they don't have to learn what it's like to go against him in that situation.