With the Giants coming off a NL West title and having lots of payroll flexibility, the Dodgers being the Dodgers, and the Padres being competitive, the D-Backs will pretty much be battling with the Rockies to stay out of the basement. It will be interesting which direction this organization chooses, so here we are.
Though he’s only entering his age-32 season, LHP Madison Bumgarner comes with a lot of miles on his arm, recent injuries, a contract two years in proving to be a bust, and a few years past his old self. He is owed $60-million over the next three years, with only $14-mil of that owed in his final year. Another key factor is that he has a 5-team no trade list.
He’s built like a workhorse so he can still give you innings (over 200 as recent as 2019). Though over the last three seasons his ERA has been just over a run higher than his career average (4.46 vs 3.31), his BB/9 and K/9 have been close to on par with his career, showing his issues aren’t with his control. Per Fangraphs, over the last couple years his fly ball rate has increased from his career average, while ground balls have decreased. Right away that doesn’t bode well for the Roger Centre or other AL East parks.
It isn’t fair to expect him to revert back to his old self during his multiple World Series Championships, but maybe the Pete Walker effect could make him a viable option in the rotation.
When comparing his and Grichuk’s contract, in no way would the Jays do a one-for-one. That’s where the DBacks could potentially line up like the Reds, where there are several players involved and the Jays fill multiple needs. This could open the door for the addition of Ketel Marte, who is on a team-friendly contract with 3/$30-million remaining – so it wouldn’t be easy for them to part with that talent and contract. That said, in such a deal there would still be other pieces going to Arizona, but the Bumgarner contract will minimize it.
Between the three key major leaguers, the two teams would be swapping ~ $70-million in payroll over next three years – D-Backs trading away $90-mil and Blue Jays trading away ~ $21-mil – which the Jays can afford and fill needed holes, and the D-Backs shed payroll assisting in a quicker rebuild to get back to competing in their division.