Nobody is ever going to forget the heroics that this guy pulled off in the 2014 World Series. Twenty-one innings over three games, with 17 whiffs and only nine hits allowed for a total ERA of 0.43. The most impressive part of it was, three days after an eight hit shutout, in Game Five, Bumgarner earned a victory with five shutout innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out four in Game Seven. Of course, he was awarded the World Series Most Valuable Player Award for his efforts.
A four-time all-star with the Giants, Bumgarner was held to 38 starts between 2017 and 2018 due to injury. He rebounded to lead the majors with 34 starts in 2019.
So, why would we be scared of signing Bumgarner, a ferocious competitor and notorious gamer? Well, it’s been three years since he was considered an all-star, and Fangraphs.com has him projected to average 24 starts over the next three campaigns, with a gradual dip in K-rate and a corresponding rise in opponent’s batting average.
Still though, Bumgarner is likely a can’t-miss deal, having just completed a five-year, $35 million deal, as well as the two bonus-option years worth an additional $24 million. It’s unknown what he’s worth on the upcoming market, but a conservative estimate will fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of four-years, $85 million – but buyer must always beware. Remember what happened with “can’t miss” Wei-Yin Chen.