SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Giants want to make sure Madison Bumgarner never goes elsewhere.
San Francisco general manager Bobby Evans spoke with Bumgarner and reached out to the ace left-hander’s representatives to let them all know the Giants are ready to begin discussions on a new contract whenever they are.
Bumgarner signed a $35.56 million, six-year deal through 2017 that includes $12 million club options for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
“We want to make sure Madison is here for the long haul,” Evans said Thursday. “We’ll certainly be available when they’re ready to talk. We continue to exchange volleys. We’re ready when they’re ready. I’ve even talked to Madison. We’re very clear.”
MadBum pitched a four-hitter in a 3-0 road win against the Mets in the wild-card game last week to continue his October dominance, then had a no-decision in Monday night’s 6-5, 13-inning Game 3 victory against the Cubs. Chicago eliminated the Giants the next night.
The 27-year-old left-hander 15-9 with a 2.74 ERA this season. Two years ago, his spectacular postseason instantly put him right up with the best ever in October. He tossed 270 innings, including 21 with two wins and a save in a World Series that went to Game 7 against the Royals.
“His value to the Giants, it’s sort of incalculable,” CEO Larry Baer said, noting he’s already fielding questions about when the pitcher will get a statue. “He’s been a tremendous asset for us. He’s done historic things.”
The Giants like to keep their homegrown players around well into the future.
In April, first baseman Brandon Belt received a $79 million, six-year contract that takes him through the 2021 season. Shortstop Brandon Crawford signed a $75 million, six-year contract last November through the 2021 season.
“I have spoken with Madison’s agent about what the timing would be,” Evans said. “Again, this is a conversation I’ve had with each of his representatives that he’s had this year. Timing on that I can’t speak to.”
While the sting of falling short was still felt by the brass two days later — the Giants would have played a Game 5 on Thursday back at Wrigley Field — a team that clinched the second wild card on the season’s final day was credited for sticking it out through a tough second half.
“The group still hates to lose as much as they like to win, and that’s a powerful statement,” said Brian Sabean, executive vice president of baseball operations.
Manager Bruce Bochy insists his health is good and he is ready to get exploring “out in the mountains” this offseason and prepare to win another championship. He spent a night in a Miami hospital in August but insists he is strong and energized to improve at age 61.
“Nobody is hurting more than this team and myself that we’re not playing tonight with a chance to move on,” Bochy said. “I’m hungry to get back to the World Series, win another one. I couldn’t feel better to be honest.”
San Francisco is strongly considering promoting from within the organization to fill spots in left field — with Jarrett Parker or Mac Williamson — while Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie are likely to play third. Nunez, whose strained right hamstring limited him down the stretch and in the playoffs, is someone Evans likes on an everyday basis with his “fire offensively and athletically and I think he did a really nice job defensively.”
“It’s important to value our internal options,” Evans said, noting both third basemen are “both very strong options for us at third. That’s most likely the direction we’ll go.”
Finding a closer will be a top priority, with Evans saying he would “explore every opportunity to make sure that no ninth inning goes unstaffed.”
“We’ll find ways to improve our bullpen. We have a good core there for years to come,” he said. “An overhaul would be a tremendous overstatement.”
Notes: Buster Posey is likely to play as regularly behind the plate despite down power numbers this season, 14 homers and 80 RBIs. ... Third base coach Roberto Kelly and first base coach Bill Hayes will not return to those duties. Evans said it hasn’t been determined whether they will remain part of the organization in reassigned roles. ... Evans said he has exchanged messages with one NL West club with a managerial opening — either Arizona or Colorado — regarding bench coach Ron Wotus. ... San Francisco plans to offer a contract to reliever George Kontos.