There has been so much talk about Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg this offseason. Who will win the sweepstakes for both? Which of the two will get the most money?
Yet there is another star pitcher on the market who would be a great get for any MLB team. That is Madison Bumgarner, who has quite high demands for his next contract, and rightly so.
Bumgarner was an All-Star from 2013-2016 and finally had another full season of work for the San Francisco Giants in 2019 after missing time the previous two seasons. He is capable of going 200 innings and still being the ace of most pitching staffs.
Something in the $100-$125 million range over five years is actually cheap based on the deals pitchers get these days. Zack Wheeler got $118 million and does not have a resume close to that of Bumgarner. That deal also drives the market up for all starters, let alone aces like Bumgarner.
Bumgarner's value is not where it was at the end of the 2016 season. Yet, he is still only 30 years old and is coming off a season in which he struck out 203 batters in 207.2 innings with a 3.90 ERA. Add in his playoff experience and he has the right to demand over $100 million based on the market.
Taking anything less would only upset players, and agents, who want free agents to get their fair value on the open market.