MLB rumors: D-backs discussed offering Madison Bumgarner $70M contract

MLB rumors: D-backs discussed offering Madison Bumgarner $70M contract

The Giants' worst nightmare began taking shape Tuesday night when The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported the Dodgers were shifting their focus to Madison Bumgarner after Gerrit Cole agreed to a record deal with the Yankees. 

But the Dodgers reportedly aren't the only NL West team with their eyes on the longtime Giants ace.

The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro reported Wednesday that the Diamondbacks internally discussed offering Bumgarner a "sizable" deal. Piecoro reported the D-backs "floated the idea of a contract in the range of $70 million" for MadBum. 

These talks according to Piecoro were only preliminary, however, and a formal proposal never was made. 

This isn't the first time Arizona has been linked to Bumgarner, though. MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that the D-backs were one of seven teams outside of the Giants to show interest in the left-hander. This, of course, came before the Dodgers report. 

After trading Zack Greinke to the Astros last season, the D-backs still are searching for a proven No. 1 starter and the 30-year-old Bumgarner certainly fits the bill. MadBum also has appeared in 20 games -- 19 starts -- at Arizona's Chase Field, and is 8-4 with a 3.13 ERA. He also hit two homers on Opening Day in Arizona in 2017. 

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But $70 million likely won't get Bumgarner to sign on the dotted line. He reportedly is seeking a deal worth at least $100 million over five years, and that seems increasingly likely with the latest moves for starting pitchers this offseason. 

Bumgarner rumors are expected to heat up by the minute, but he doesn't appear destined for the desert quite yet.

Stephen Vogt thanks Giants fans, says goodbye to organization in tweet


Stephen Vogt thanks Giants fans, says goodbye to organization in tweet

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's rare for a player to come to a new team, serve as a backup and leave at the end of September with such a high approval rating that team employees and fans openly joke about him becoming their next manager. That's the kind of impact Stephen Vogt had in 2019.

Vogt played 99 games for the Giants but agreed to a one-year deal with the rival Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday with a vesting option for a second year. Vogt was interested in returning and the Giants liked his presence alongside Buster Posey, but he told the San Francisco Chronicle that he chose the Diamondbacks over the Giants and one other suitor. 

Vogt will be missed by the fan base but also in the clubhouse, where he had a locker alongside Brandon Crawford and a few feet from Posey and Madison Bumgarner. Vogt thanked his teammates in a message posted to Twitter on Tuesday night, along with many others: 

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This is the second consecutive offseason that the Giants are losing a popular backup catcher. Nick Hundley was a similar player before leaving last offseason. Giants fans won't have to wait long to get a chance to show appreciation for Vogt. The Diamondbacks visit on the season's first homestand. 

A's acquire lefty reliever T.J. McFarland off waivers from D-backs


A's acquire lefty reliever T.J. McFarland off waivers from D-backs

The A's have made their first acquisition of the offseason, claiming left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

McFarland, 30, pitched 56 innings in 51 appearances in the 2019 season, recording an ERA of 4.82 and a 1.63 WHIP. He was much better in 2018, however, going 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 72 innings.

In seven career seasons between the Orioles and Diamondbacks, McFarland is 18-14 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. He only has averaged 5.5 strikeouts per nine innings, but his 63 percent ground ball rate is one of the best in baseball. That should make him a good fit in Oakland, with the A's boasting two Gold Glove infielders in Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, along with shortstop finalist Marcus Semien.

McFarland throws a fastball, slider, and changeup, averaging 90 mph, 81 mph, and 82 mph respectively. He has fared much better against left-handed hitters than righties throughout his career, allowing a .662 OPS to the former and an .828 OPS to the latter.

The A's certainly could use some left-handed relief pitching after declining Jake Diekman's option for next season. Meanwhile, fellow southpaw Ryan Buchter is a potential non-tender option.

Of course, McFarland is not guaranteed to end up on Oakland's roster either. The Diamondbacks declined his $1.85 million option for 2020, but he is still eligible for arbitration, where MLB Trade Rumors projects him to get $2.1 million. It's hard to imagine the A's paying that much for a soft-throwing reliever, but perhaps the two sides can agree to a lower salary.

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For now, McFarland fills the A's 40-man roster and becomes the team's 13th arbitration-eligible player.