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Madison Bumgarner
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Baseball Daily Dose

Bumgarner lands in the desert

by Nathan Grimm
Updated On: December 16, 2019, 1:16 am ET

Madison Bumgarner is trading in his oceanside home ballpark for a more understated poolside view.

The southpaw is making the leap from one NL West club to another, reportedly agreeing to a five-year, $85 million contract with the Diamondbacks on Sunday. The full deal was first reported by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, Bumgarner will receive $15 million in deferred money, per Rosenthal. That means Bumgarner will make $70 million over the course of his five years, a number comparable to the four-year, $70-plus million offer the Giants made to keep him in San Francisco, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. In the end, the guarantee of a fifth year proved to be the difference.

The move represents the latest for a Diamondbacks rotation that looks nothing like it did a little over a year ago. At the end of the 2018 season, the staff was anchored by veteran Zack Greinke and prepared to watch 11-game winner Patrick Corbin depart via free agency. Zack Godley had made 32 starts that season and Clay Buchholz and Matt Koch made 16 and 14, respectively.

Now, Bumgarner will head a rotation that includes Zac Gallen, acquired from the Marlins at July's trade deadline; Robbie Ray, who may actually be on his way out the door with the Bumgarner signing; and guys like Luke Weaver, Merrill Kelly, Alex Young and Mike Leake, all of whom will vie for starting jobs in spring. Taylor Clarke, Godley and prospect Jon Duplantier could also make their case in spring.

The loss of their ace means Johnny Cueto will slide into that role for the Giants after returning at the end of 2019. Jeff Samardzija and the newly signed Kevin Gausman will follow, with Tyler Beede, Logan Webb and others behind them.

For Bumgarner, the move to Arizona isn't entirely neutral given how pitcher-friendly Oracle Park is, but Chase Field plays fairly neutral for power. That's good news for the southpaw, who gave up a career-high 30 homers this past season.

His leaving the free agent market means another top target for some teams is off the board. With Bumgarner gone, lefties Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel are the next top options for clubs seeking pitching help.

Rangers Get Kluber For Clase, DeShields

One such club seeking help was the Rangers.

They filled a need Sunday when they acquired former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber from the Indians for reliever Emmanuel Clase and outfielder Delino DeShields.

"Before last year, Corey was one of the elite pitchers in the game for an extended stretch," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Last year was a little bit of a lost year for him but we think the reasons for it don't necessarily give us pause. In some ways the time off may have been a good thing, a blessing in disguise that he had thrown a lot of innings [418] in the previous two years."

The acquisition was the third for the Rangers' rotation this winter, as they previously added free agents Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles. Holdovers Mike Minor and Lance Lynn will round out the rotation.

"It sets up pretty well," Daniels said. "Now we have to go out and perform. This group has a track record and pedigree. We are excited to see them work together. This group has a chance to go out and give us both quantity and quality innings. We should be in the ballgame every night."

Kluber suffered from both injury and ineffectiveness in 2019, posting a 5.80 ERA in seven starts. In each of the prior five seasons, though, he's received Cy Young votes, including winning the award in 2014 and 2017.

The return for the Indians was met with confusion and some dismay. Clase posted a 2.31 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with the Rangers this past season and possesses a cut fastball that touches triple digits, making his ceiling as high as any young reliever's. DeShields stole 24 bases while batting .249/.325/.347 in 118 games last year.

"There were a lot of teams that had interest in Corey," Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. "We had a variety of different packages, some of whom had players who were a little further away from the Major Leagues. One of the things we did like about what the Rangers offered were two players that could come back and help us in 2020 and help us try to sustain the level of competitiveness we've had over the last seven years."

We'll see soon enough how the trade works out for both sides. 

 

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