On Thursday afternoon, rumors began to fly around the world of Major League Baseball with Madison Bumgarner’s name attached. One of the mentioned teams? The St. Louis Cardinals.
Bumgarner is currently 30-years-old and known for his postseason fame — something the St. Louis Cardinals could benefit from with the starting rotation opening a vacant spot after the departure of free agent Michael Wacha. So on one hand, the appeal is there, but on another hand, there is way more than his ability to lead his team to victory — there is money involved.
Do the Cardinals have the financial flexibility for him?
Yes, despite being labeled as “cheap,” the organization has the flexibility to sign Bumgarner. But time is not on their side — other teams are rumored to have eyes on the 6’4” LHP. With Zack Wheeler off of the market, FA starters are expected to be selling like hot cakes before and during Winter Meetings next week.
The other teams named include the Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds (who recently made a fine purchase in Mike Moustakas), Chicago White Sox, and Atlanta Braves (who have been dropping bombshells on a daily basis.)
Bumgarner is often looked at as a workhorse in the second half of his career. While he is no longer in his prime, it should be expected that he’ll sign for nothing less than $100 million. Especially with Wheeler signing with the Phillies for a five-year, $118 million contract on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old is a 4x All-Star, 3x World-Series winner, and 2x Silver Slugger winner. In 2019, he finished with a WAR of 2.8, 203 SO, 3.90 ERA, and a 9-9 win-loss record.
My personal opinion: I would love to see Madison Bumgarner pitching for the Cardinals next season. He could elevate the already much improved starting five into whole other level. But will we see it? It’s uncertain MadBum and St. Louis will agree on the same type of contract.