With the San Francisco Giants successfully locking up Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain to long term extensions this season, a collective sigh of relief can be released from the fan base with two of the top pitchers in the game remaining in the Bay for years and years to come.
Bumgarner is getting a hefty pay raise for a 22-year old, but his service time put in already is that of a much older pitcher, already logging 337 innings pitched in the majors not to mention postseason accolades and a World Series ring to boot. Even though San Francisco hasn't much history of giving such a contract to a play with such a short amount of time in the Majors, they feel he is worth it as Bummy will jump from the one-year, $560,000 contract to possibly a total of $40 million in guaranteed money over the life of his new contract. It could even go as high as $70.5 million if he wins a Cy Young.
He'll also be protected through his first year of free agency, while leaving the Giants open to possibly move on if they feel the need to later down the line. Grant Brisbee over at McCovey Chronicles points out the genius inside Bummy's new contract; the options:
The best part? Them options. If Bumgarner continues on a Steve Carlton trajectory, the Giants aren't going to lose him. And if Bumgarner continues on a Bret Saberhagen trajectory, well, the Giants will have some choices to make. But they get the option of keeping Bumgarner around without a locked-in commitment. That's probably why they call them "options."
This idea worked well with Matt Cain, whom the Giant paid only $16 million total through 2011, proving his salt to earn himself his mega contract. Bumgarner is currently in line to do something similar if he can keep himself healthy and effective, though if the Giants kept him through 2019, he would still have just turned 30 with near a decade of service in the majors already. Talk about a workhorse.
Tim Lincecum's early struggles may have lit a bit of a fire to get Bumgarner signed long-term, though the team (as do the most of us) hope these problems are merely temporary. His home-grown and seemingly unadjustable delivery from his father has seen lots of mileage already, 14,163 pitches from 2008-11 to be exact, the fifth most amongst all pitchers according to Andrew Baggarly. His velocity and command have both been less that what we've been used to, and the fact he was trying to shelf his slider to 'save his elbow' is a bi concerning as well for the 27 year-old.
You never know, it could only be Bumgarner and Cain as the 1-2 punch for San Francisco in a few seasons from now.
Signing that extension certainly helped Cain out over the weekend after his one-hit wonder against the Pirates on Friday, hopefully Bumgarner can come up with something similar on Tuesday against the Phils.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.