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."
Madison Bumgarner is still a Giant. Right back to work. pic.twitter.com/GLPMhsYxIb— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) July 31, 2019
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.
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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."