Giants

What Aroldis Chapman contract extension means for Giants' Will Smith

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What Aroldis Chapman contract extension means for Giants' Will Smith

Giants closer Will Smith always was going to have no shortage of suitors headed into free agency this winter. That MLB-wide interest might even pick up now.

The New York Yankees reportedly agreed to a contract extension with closer Aroldis Chapman on Saturday night, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan. Chapman, who could have opted out of his contract Sunday, will remain with the Yankees through the end of 2022 and make $18 million that season after making $30 million over each of the next two seasons, according to Passan.

With Chapman remaining in pinstripes, that likely leaves Smith as the best reliever on the market. 

Smith, 30, posted a career-high 34 saves in 65 1/3 innings of work in 2019. His 2.76 ERA was the second-lowest of his career, as was his 1.03 WHIP. Smith also was an All-Star for the first time in his career. 

[RELATED: How MadBum's market is impacted by Strasburg opting out]

NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic wrote last week that the Giants are considering issuing Smith a $17.8 million qualifying offer. That would take Smith just under Chapman's reported 2022 salary, but the reliever might prefer the security of a long-term contract rather than the one-year qualifying offer.

The Giants have until Monday to issue a qualifying offer to Smith. If they do, Chapman's reported extension will give Smith a lot more to think about. 

Bruce Bochy reveals favorite Madison Bumgarner memory as Giants manager

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Bruce Bochy reveals favorite Madison Bumgarner memory as Giants manager

Bruce Bochy spent a lot of time with Madison Bumgarner over the last decade. San Francisco's former manager was there in the dugout for Bumgarner's MLB debut and his last game as a Giant. 

Despite all of Bumgarner's World Series heroics, it's fitting that Bochy's favorite memory of the former Giants ace comes off the field. And it's about bear hunting of all things.

"Well my favorite -- I'm pausing for a second because I can't tell my favorite," Bochy recently said to ESPN's Buster Olney on the "Baseball Tonight Podcast." "It's a bear hunting trip and I swore to secrecy on that. Hopefully he'll let me tell it one day." 

Bochy's favorite Bumgarner story certainly fits, too. It's more about the left-hander's unmatched mentality than anything else. 

"On the baseball side, my favorite of course is 2014," Bochy said. "The incredible run that he had between the wild-card game and of course what he did in Game 7 [of the World Series]. It was after Game 5, he had just shut out the Royals and I had switched it a little bit, because I felt like we just had to go into Kansas City up a game instead of down a game.

"I was taking some heat for not pitching him in Game 4 and then starting him in Game 7, but [Ryan] Vogelsong started Game 4 against their fifth starter and I wanted Bumgarner to pitch against [James] Shields." 

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It clearly was the right decision to start Bumgarner in Game 5. He threw a complete game shutout in San Francisco while striking out eight in a 4-1 Giants win. What he did in Bochy's office before traveling to Kansas City, was even more vintage MadBum. 

"He shuts out the Royals and now we're going to Kansas City. We're up 3-2, we're a game away from being the World Series champions and guys are starting to pack because we've got to go to KC and he comes into my office," Bochy said. "He goes, 'You know I just wanna tell you, if you wanna win this thing, you're gonna put me out there. You're gonna start me.' I says, 'Start you when?' And he goes, 'After [my] day off.' He meant Game 6.

"I said, 'No, I'm not starting you with one day's rest!' He goes, 'I'm telling you, if you wanna win this thing.' And I said, 'Well, we haven't set the pitcher for Game 7. Right now it's [Tim] Hudson.' He looked at me and said, 'No, no. You gotta start Huddy. I want him to start this game. But you have me ready if you wanna win this thing.' " 

The rest is history. Hudson lasted just 1 2/3 innings before Jeremy Affeldt relieved him for 2 1/3 innings. And then, Bumgarner opened the bullpen gates and gave us all one of the greatest performances in baseball history. 

Bumgarner threw the final five innings and didn't allow an earned run as the Giants outlasted the Royals, 3-2, to win their third World Series title in five years. His masterpiece on the mound forever will be remembered in the history of the Giants and baseball as a whole. 

To put it in context, Bumgarner had a 0.43 ERA in the 2014 World Series. Here's how the rest of the starting staff fared: Tim Hudson (6.14 ERA), Ryan Vogelsong (9.82) and Jake Peavy (12.79).

[RELATED: Giants, fans got Oracle Park's design right, and here's why]

"It's just this guy who had this maniacal focus on winning that World Series, and he wasn't gonna hold back on his feelings," Bochy said on Bumgarner.

Bochy's two favorite Bumgarner stories, both on and off the field, truly couldn't be any better.

Giants' Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper tell hilarious Will Clark sushi story

Giants' Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper tell hilarious Will Clark sushi story

Not everyone has a taste for sushi, especially Will Clark.

The Giants legend is the guy who simply orders a steak at dinner -- he’s simple and to the point.

Giants broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper told a funny story in a recent interview with Giants reporter Amy Gutierrez from a night out at dinner with "The Thrill."

Clark glanced at the menu at the sushi restaurant and was nice about it of course, but it wasn’t his cup of tea. Where Clark is from in Louisiana, they refer to that type of food as “bait.”

That's fair. 

The Giants announced they will retire Clark’s No. 22 jersey this season -- and rightfully so.

His sweet swing and swagger made him one of the organization’s most well-known players to ever wear orange and black.

[RELATED: PlayStation, Zoom helping Giants work in hiatus]

Clark is a six-time All-Star selection, a Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger Award recipient across his 15-year career, eight of them with the Giants.

A great career, just perhaps no salmon for him in the future? 

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