In April of 2012, at the beginning of what would end up as the Giants’ second championship season in three years, the team agreed to a five-year, $35 million contract extension with young left-hander Madison Bumgarner that kept the pitcher under the team’s control through the 2017 season.
As Bumgarner’s agents pointed out to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, the deal was the richest in history for a player with between one and two years of Major League service time.
But in light of Bumgarner’s performance in the World Series — wins in Games 1 and 5 as a starter, followed by five innings of scoreless relief for the series-clinching win in Game 7 — the deal now looks like one of the biggest bargains in baseball. (Watch Bumgarner’s postgame interview with the MLB Network in the video above.)
Here are the nuts and bolts of the deal, per Haft:
Bumgarner’s annual salaries aren’t off the charts, at least from the Giants’ perspective. Due to earn $560,000 this year, Bumgarner will receive $750,000 next year, $3.75 million in 2014, $6.75 million in 2015, $9.75 million in 2016 and $11.5 million in 2017. The contract also calls for a $1 million signing bonus and a $1.5 million optional buyout. In addition, Bumgarner will get a limited no-trade clause that will enable him to block trades to eight teams each season.
The 2018 season will become guaranteed for Bumgarner if he pitches 200 innings in 2017 or 400 innings in the previous two years. If that option doesn’t vest, it becomes a club option. The 2019 season is strictly a club option.
Bumgarner has proven to be a bargain even in the regular season. He’s won a total of 47 games over the past three seasons while pitching more than 200 innings in each of them and recording an ERA under 3 in 2013 and 2014, making the National League All-Star team in both years.
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It’s in the postseason, though, that Bumgarner has made that $35 million look like the best $35 million spent in baseball history.
In leading the Giants to the title, Bumgarner pitched a postseason record 52 2/3 innings, giving up just 6 earned runs while striking out 45. In the World Series, the numbers were particularly stunning.
Bumgarner was initially awarded the win in Game 7. The official scorer later gave the win to Jeremy Affeldt and the save to Bumgarner, giving him these off-the-charts numbers for the series: 2-0 with one save, 31 strikeouts, and a 0.25 ERA.
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