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Former superstar pitcher Madison Bumgarner has been designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona Republic reporter Nick Piecoro reported Thursday that Bumgarner’s time with the team was likely over, despite having $34 million remaining on his contract.
It’s the culmination of a dramatic, rapid decline in talent for Bumgarner.
His time in San Francisco was marked by a remarkable run of success, both personally and at the team level.
From 2013-2016, he made four consecutive All-Star teams, receiving Cy Young votes each of those seasons as well.
The Giants won the World Series three times during his tenure in San Francisco. Bumgarner was most notably associated with his 2014 Fall Classic performance against the Kansas City Royals.
He threw 21 innings, allowing just one run, and most importantly, closed out a one run win in Game 7. His performance made him an easy choice for World Series MVP and cemented his place as one of the game’s most “clutch” pitchers.
But his skills seemed to rapidly decline as soon as he joined the Arizona Diamondbacks on a 5-year, $85 million contract in 2020.
What Does The Future Hold For Bumgarner?
His time in Phoenix started out poorly, with the veteran posting a 6.48 ERA during the shortened 2020 season.
Given a more normal build up period for 2021, expectations were significantly higher for Bumgarner in 2021. While there was some improvement, his 4.67 ERA and well below average strikeout rate were still concerning.
2022 was more of the same, with even worse numbers. And the declining trend only accelerated into 2023.
Through his first four starts, Bumgarner put up an astonishing 10.26 ERA, allowing 25 hits in 16.2 innings. Those atrocious numbers were likely due in part to a substantial drop in velocity. After averaging over 92mph during his peak years, this season his average fastball’s dropped to just 89mph.
His usually excellent command and control also deserted him, as he walked over eight hitters per nine innings. For a Diamondbacks team that’s had a better than expected start, Bumgarner quickly became an untenable option.
Despite the poor performance, his trademark fiery behavior has not lessened.
READ: MADISON BUMGARNER CAUGHT CHIRPING WILLSON CONTRERAS IN EXPLICIT EXCHANGE ON HOT MIC
Going forward, it seems likely Bumgarner will clear waivers without Arizona finding a trade partner. That would make him a free agent available to a new team on a prorated league minimum salary.
Bumgarner’s rapid fall from the peak of MLB has been stunning, especially compared to another superstar lefty Clayton Kershaw.
Even so, the 33-year-old will likely have a substantial number of teams interested, hoping they can recapture some latent talent.
One CommentLeave a Reply
How about Texas Manager Bruce Bochy picks him up, since it was Bochy who blew his arm out early in his career with the Giants?