Madison Bumgarner was drafted Thursday by the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will eat more than $34 million from the veteran left-hander’s contract, sources told ESPN.
Bumgarner, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract with Arizona ahead of the 2020 season, struggled during his four years with the Diamondbacks and posted a 5.23 ERA in 69 starts. Perhaps his worst game with Arizona came on Wednesday, when he allowed seven runs in three innings against the St. Louis Cardinals and saw his 2023 ERA balloon at 10:26.
Bumgarner, 33, is owed around $20.4 million for the remainder of this year and $14 million for the 2024 season. Once he cleared the waivers — it’s unlikely a team would act for him as that team would have to pick up the rest of the money from his contract — Bumgarner would be eligible to play with a team for the $720,000 minimum in the Major to sign the league.
In Wednesday’s game, the Cardinals batsmen hit five balls at over 100 mph and enjoyed Bumgarner’s fastball, which has averaged 89.5 mph this season, 1.7 mph slower than 2022.
“I wish I had answers,” Bumgarner told reporters. “Not that I won’t look for them – I will look for them. But right now I don’t have any for you. I wish I had her. But I don’t have any.”
Arizona leads 11-8 in the National League West Division by two games. With a young core led by outfielder Corbin Carroll and right-hander Zac Gallen — and one of the best farm systems in baseball — the Diamondbacks have prioritized transitioning from their rebuild to their competitiveness this year.
General manager Mike Hazen said last month that Bumgarner’s salary would not interfere with his role, stressing that the Diamondbacks “have to win baseball games.”
“We were never asked to make decisions based on money or anything like that,” Hazen said, according to the Arizona Republic. “We have to win baseball games. We try to win every single baseball game we go to. We want the five guys in the rotation to solidify those points and give us some stability there. … We’ll keep evaluating it as we go, but we gotta win baseball games.
Bumgarner came to Arizona after 11 stellar seasons with the San Francisco Giants, winning three World Series and playing four All-Star games. Long known for his intensity on the mound, he was involved in a brief verbal altercation with Willson Contreras on Wednesday after the Cardinals’ catcher was fouled off a field. The two seemed to exchange several expletives before Contreras left and flipped his racquet emphatically.
Bumgarner gave no specific details about what Contreras was saying or doing to bother him, telling reporters, “If you can’t see it, I don’t know how to help,” before finally conceding that he was “better.” set up”.
“It’s very tough,” Diamondbacks coach Torey Lovullo said Wednesday. “The empathetic side of me hurts him, and I want every pitcher to do well, and I know how hard he works. He just grinds.
“The other side of me is extremely frustrated. I just want everyone to do well to help us win baseball games and of course that didn’t happen today.”