SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — At his introductory press conference in November, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was open about the fact that he would consider trading Madison Bumgarner under the right circumstances. Around that time, he reached out to the ace himself.
Asked Tuesday if he responded to the text, Bumgarner, notoriously hard to reach during the offseason, smiled.
“That’s classified information,” he said.
If Zaidi’s text went unreturned, he’ll have a chance to deliver his message again this week in person. Bumgarner showed up at Scottsdale Stadium on Tuesday morning and took his physical. After a winter of rumors, he remains a Giant. He’ll take the ball on Opening Day, and he reiterated that he hopes to do the same in future years.
“Obviously, this is where I came up. I’ve been through a lot here,” Bumgarner said. “A lot of good times and a few bad times, also. Obviously I would love to stay here. If that happens or not, I don’t know. Some parts are in my control, some parts aren’t.
“For right now, I’m just focused on getting this year started and getting back to the postseason.”
Bumgarner knows as well as anyone how long that road might be. He has had two straight injury-wrecked seasons, and his results haven’t been what he’s grown accustomed to even when he has been on the mound. The team has lost 187 games the past two seasons, but Bumgarner came to camp with optimism.
He also came ready to join the chorus of veterans looking for a boost. After initially joking that he didn’t want to talk about anyone who wasn’t a Giant, Bumgarner said Bryce Harper would be a “huge addition for us.”
“He’s obviously a superstar in the game, a young player,” Bumgarner said. “I think everybody in here would be pretty damn excited to have him.”
If that deal doesn’t happen, though, Bumgarner won’t drop his head.
“My plan is winning this year,” he said. “I think that’s everybody in this clubhouse’s plan, regardless of the names that you see or don’t see. I’ve been part of teams that we won when we probably weren’t supposed to and we shouldn’t have. You can do it and we’ve seen plenty of other teams do it.
“Obviously some guys — like Harper — that’s going to make any team better, but that’s not to say that we couldn’t do it without him. I think we’ve got the guys and we can do it. It’s all a mentality.”
The Giants are counting on Bumgarner to instill that mentality in others. Two lockers away, Buster Posey has preached the same message. The two do not want anyone to start the season with the mindset that the front office is rebuilding or this is another lost season.
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For much of the offseason, it would have been hard for the other Giants to have optimism. Trading Bumgarner would have been a clear step in a new direction, but he’s still here, and the goal now is to make sure the process doesn’t repeat itself.
“I paid attention to what was going on and the rumblings, so yeah, I think there was obviously some question, but I felt there was a pretty good chance he would be here,” Posey said. “I hope we’re in a position at the trade deadline where it makes no sense for him to be anywhere else.”