MLB Winter Meetings

MLB rumors: Angels pursuing Madison Bumgarner during free agency

MLB rumors: Angels pursuing Madison Bumgarner during free agency

The Angels' search for an ace continues.

The Halos missed out on Southern California native Gerrit Cole, who couldn't turn down a reported record nine-year, $324 million contract from the Yankees. And Stephen Strasburg, who hails from San Diego, returned to the Nationals on a seven-year, $245 million deal. 

So, who will the Angels turn to now? They reportedly have their eyes on longtime Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. 

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Wednesday night that the Angels are pursuing MadBum, among other pitchers as well. 

Bumgarner reportedly is being courted by several teams -- including the Dodgers --  but NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic reported Wednesday that the Giants still are in talks with the left-hander's camp. If Bumgarner does sign with the Angels, however, it not only would spell the era of an era in San Francisco, it would be bad news for the A's. 

[RELATED: Report: D-backs discussed offering MadBum $70M contract]

While Cole no longer is in the AL West, star third baseman Anthony Rendon reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract to join the Angels after years of starring on the Nationals. The Angels now feature a lineup of Mike Trout, Rendon, Shohei Ohtani and some guy named Albert Pujols. 

Add an ace like Bumgarner could be the cherry on top for the Angels. It also would be another hurdle for the A's to clear in their path to winning the AL West. 

Giants tried to hire Rachel Balkovec to Gabe Kapler's coaching staff

Giants tried to hire Rachel Balkovec to Gabe Kapler's coaching staff

SAN DIEGO -- When the Giants announce their full coaching staff, the group will stand out for being young, with more experience in private instruction and minor league coaching than the big leagues in some cases. That'll be something new for the organization, but it has somewhat become the norm around Major League Baseball over the past couple of years. 

As they put the staff together, though, the Giants did strongly consider a move that would have been historic for the sport. They interviewed Rachel Balkovec, who recently joined the Yankees as a minor league hitting coach and became the first woman to get hired as a full-time hitting coach by an organization. 

The Giants wanted Balkovec, 32, to join them in a hybrid role that would have been something along the lines of a "quality control coach," a job that has popped up elsewhere in recent years. She would have worked on the hitting side but also contributed to the strength and conditioning side, which is her background. Balkovec had been a Yankee for just a few days when the Giants approached, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters that Balkovec elected to stay with New York after interviewing with the Giants, who brought her to San Francisco for the interview. 

This is believed to be the first time a woman has interviewed for a job on a big league coaching staff. Balkovec would have been in uniform for the Giants and working for Gabe Kapler, who said he is looking for "diversity of thought" on his coaching staff regardless of gender. 

"I've known Rachel for a really long time, Farhan (Zaidi) has known Rachel for a really long time," Kapler told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I think it was four years ago or so that we first became familiar with her work as a strength coach. Rachel is super-dynamic, incredibly smart, incredibly confident, and I have no doubt in my mind that she's going to make a big impact in baseball for many years to come."

Balkovec impressed Giants officials, who came away thinking it's just a matter of time before she is on a big league staff or takes a position high up in baseball operations. She was in San Diego this week and met with some Yankees reporters on Tuesday, where she outlined her background. Her approach is very similar to much of what the Giants have added to their staff, which will be finalized in the coming days.

[RELATED: Sources: Giants working to hire Justin Viele]

“I have a special interest in biomechanics and understanding how the body moves and applying certain things, like for example, if there is a restriction in movement can they spot those types of things,’’ Balkovec said, according to the New York Post. “How is that going to affect their swing mechanics and the ability to get something done in a game situation. Also, the visual side of things, what are the best strategies of things picking up the ball for recognizing a pitch? 

"There are two sides of it, and I am not sure which one is more important at this point, but I am leaning more to the visual aspect not very many people are diving into I think at this point. It’s two-fold, understanding the body from a very base level and how it applies to the swing and action."

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. 

[RELATED: How Giants can take advantage of penny-pinching teams]

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.