More Offseason Moves: Bumgarner, Kluber, and More

I know, I know. I’m a bit behind in writing about some of these deals. But it’s Christmastime and life gets busy sometimes.

The big deal: Madison Bumgarner is heading to Arizona. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty surprised that he ‘only’ took $85 million for five years. (At what point did we start saying $85 million isn’t that much? Geez.) But this is why I don’t really take much stock in the off season rumor mill. We’d all heard (or maybe assumed?) that he was looking/going to get around $100 million – which is peanuts compared to the deals that Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg got. Granted, he’s not the same badass Madison Bumgarner that dominated three World Series anymore, but he is still one of the better pitchers that was available in free agency, and his resume and his record are pretty impressive.

Also surprising? That he’s heading to Arizona. Last season they seemed to be heading to a rebuilding era after unloading the big name talent of Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke. Then again, they did finish 2nd in the NL West, which was dominated all season by the Dodgers, and they still have some pretty good players left on their roster. Perhaps they’re trying to pull a Washington and sneak into the postseason as a Wild Card contender and take it all? Perhaps they’re looking to build a solid rotation around Bumgarner and Robbie Ray, and combine that with some stellar offense from Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker to try to compete with the Dodgers, or stay ahead of the Padres as they’ve been trying to build a contending team.

In any case, I was taken aback when I saw the headlines about Bumgarner staying in the NL West, and going to Arizona, and for taking less money than I thought he would. I really thought (hoped?) he’d end up in Minnesota or at least somewhere in the American League. But what do I know? I’m just a girl that was raised in the AL with a team (MN) that hasn’t won a World Series in almost thirty years (RIP Kirby Puckett) that tends to pick up pitchers past their prime that either surprise us all and do really well (in recent years: Carl Pavano, Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda) or completely shit the bed (Remember Vance Worley and Ricky Nolasco?) and has fans that constantly whine about cheap ownership, and then the same fans complain when big contracts ‘eat up too much of the payroll’ (do not @ me about Joe Mauer. He is a MN legend. The end.). I’ll be watching and waiting to see how Bumgarner fares in Arizona to see if I should join the ranks in complaining that my team didn’t go for it or relieved that we dodged a bullet.

Also surprising to me? Cleveland traded away Corey Kluber. When I first saw that Kluber was traded to Texas, as a Twins fan I was like YAAASSSSS! This means Cleveland is going to start a rebuilding year! But then I remembered, Kluber missed a lot of last season with an injury and the Indians were nipping at the heels of the Twins for much of the later part of the season – even taking first place for a hot second. In return for Kluber, Cleveland is getting a rookie right-handed pitcher in Emmanuel Clase, and with his 99 mph fastball may be on his way to being either a huge asset to them or be serious trade bait toward July. Delino DeShields is coming in as an outfielder that doesn’t have nearly the same power that they rented from Yasiel Puig last season, so this one kind of baffles me. I think the biggest piece is they’re going to be saving a ton of money to maybe make a big splash down the road.

Other notable moves/signings over the last few days:

  • The Phillies signed SS Didi Gregorius to a one-year, $14 million deal. Didi will be reunited with his former manager Joe Girardi in Philadelphia.
  • The Tigers signed C Austin Romine to a one-year, $4 million contract. The former Yankee will be helping out with a young Grayson Greiner as the Tigers are trying to rebuild.
  • The Red Sox are adding a bit of infield depth with SS Jose Peraza with a one-year, $3 million deal. Probably so Xander Bogaerts can have a day off once in a while.
  • The Twins are brining back RP Sergio Romo with a one year deal worth $4.75 million with an option for 2021. Romo won the hearts of Twins fans when he joined the team at trade deadline, and he added a lot of entertainment off the mound as well.

What say you, readers? Leave a comment below.