The Offseason which has been rather quiet thus far was just thrown into a tornado yesterday when the first big name pitcher was taken off the market by the Phillies. Fans have been begging for teams to make moves, and it seems the action will continue considering the winter meetings begin at the start of next week. With only a handful of premier arms left teams are going to be aggressive in talks with guys like Cole, Strasburg, and Ryu. One bad man though has slipped under the radar somewhat, and I’m confused as to why. Following the ending of the World Series rumors quickly surfaced about how Madison Bumgarner, was a sure bet to Atlanta. They needed a veteran arm, and who better than the three time world series legend that Mad Bum is. But as quickly as those rumors heated up, the flame burnt out and Atlanta decided to go elsewhere when they signed Cole Hamels for one year instead. Mad Bum though I think is okay with how everything is working out. I bet he did spinning backflips when he found out how much Zack Wheeler got, and its assuring to him that there are more than a few teams determined to upgrade their rotations. Madison’s market should be heating up even more now since he is without a doubt one of the four best pitchers still available, I think the only thing holding him back is teams are reluctant to give him money when they feel they have a chance at Cole or Strasburg. Teams though looking in the money range of what Zack got will be satisfied with the product they get. Wheeler was paid off potential, we already know Mad Bum is a workhorse that is an un-hittable machine come playoff time. Here are a few teams I expect to make a big push at him now.
The Chicago White Sox
After Zack decided on Philly reports came out that the White Sox actually offered him a bigger contract, but he wasn’t interested in the windy city. Fans may be bummed but at least the front office is not being shy, and are fully expected to still pursue other big name arms. Their roster is fairly young, with a-lot of inexperienced arms in development they can use a battle worn pitcher to teach them the ropes. Its clear now that Mad Bum will definitely secure a deal worth 9 figures, probably in the ballpark of 5 years 110 million. I expect the White Sox to offer him that or even overpay if they have to.
The Los Angeles Angels
Although I expect them to be in the Cole/Stras market apparently the Angels front office seem to really like Mad Bum. Another team with a pretty brutal rotation Bumgarner wouldn’t completely fix it, but he is capable of still being an ace for a few more seasons. They are determined to spend so if they don’t somehow end up with the other guys I doubt they let him slip. With a true ace on the team the Angels should win a few more games, as the quest to get Trout back to the playoffs continues. Not saying this signing makes them a playoff team but theoretically having Mad Bum for a one game elimination is pretty sweet.
The Los Angeles Dodgers
I was going to put the Twins because they are in dire need of rotation help, but their name is currently not tied to anyone. The Dodgers however, are favorites to sign either Rendon or Cole but as we know free agency doesn’t always unfold as planned. Cole more and more everyday seems like he could be heading to New York, while Rendon has ties to both the Rangers and Washington. One thing is certain the Dodgers need to acquire starting pitching, and they have a golden opportunity to steal the ace of a division rival here. Coles price tag may grow too high for LA, and it may not be such a bad thing. They potentially can sign Madison for around 100 million, and still have a boatload of money to improve the roster elsewhere such as the bullpen. The Dodgers biggest hump this decade has been getting productivity out of starters in the playoffs, now they have the chance to sign the best postseason pitcher of the century. Its kind of a no brainer to make the deal.
For some odd reason I believe a mystery team may jump in and snag him, but who knows a safe bet would be Chi-Town.
Published by Fran Cava