The Giants are giving fans more of a reason to celebrate.
First they inked Matt Cain to a long-term deal. Now they’ve done the same with 22-year-old lefty Madison Bumgarner, signing him to a five-year extension worth $35 million. The contract covers all of his arbitration years and buys out his first year of free agency.
Considering how rocky the contract talks with Tim Lincecum have been, it’s a great sign that the Giants were able to lock up Cain and Bumgarner so quickly. Even if Lincecum leaves after the 2013 season, they will still have two dominant pitchers through at least 2017.
The deal is the largest given to a player with not much big-league-service time.
SFX Baseball group, which represents Bumgarner, was quick to point this out on Twitter:
“Madison’s contract is the largest guarantee for a 1+ pitcher in MLB history. #congratulations”
Bumgarner’s deal includes options for 2018 and 2019. Bay Area News Group’s Alex Pavlovic reports that the option for 2018 is a club/vesting option. This means that it can either be triggered by Bumgarner’s performance or the team can simply exercise the option.
The last option year is a club option, giving the Giants complete control over Bumgarner through 2019.
“Preserving our core pitching for the long term remains a top priority for the Giants and today’s extension certainly helps further that goal,” said Giants general manager Brian Sabean in a statement. “Madison has already proven that he is one of the best left handed pitchers in the game today and we are confident that he will continue to succeed for many years to come.”
The Chronicle’s Henry Schulman notes how rare the deal is via Twitter:
“This is a very unusual contract for the Giants. They have not gone long-term with a 1+ before. But as we know, Bum is an unusual pitcher.”
Bumgarner announced his presence during the 2010 World Series when he pitched eight shutout innings against the Rangers in Game 4. During that postseason, the 21-year-old gave up just five runs in 20 2/3 innings.
In 2011, his first full season in the big leagues, Bumgarner made 33 starts, compiling a 3.21 ERA and 8.4 strikeout per nine innings, third best among National League lefties and seventh best in the majors among lefties.