Braves: Bumgarner’s price tag will likely be too steep

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As reported by Bob Nightengale, Madison Bumgarner is looking to cash in this offseason, which isn’t surprising considering the three-time World Series champion will be 30 next season, and this will likely be his last opportunity to cash in on a lucrative multi-year contract.

Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are still available, and you have to think the Yankees/Angels/White Sox and other teams that are big game hunting will look to Bumgarner if their Plan A falls through. New York could even push all their chips in and go after a Cole AND Bumgarner. $20 million+ per season is a LOT of money, but Madison can send Zach Wheeler a nice bottle of wine for Christmas for setting up his market this high.

While Wheeler has a fantastic arm and several scouts believe his best years are to come, it’s hard to look at Bumgarner’s achievements over the years and think he’s not worth at least in the same ballpark.

Sadly, this likely takes Atlanta out of the running. Unless Josh Donaldson signs elsewhere and there are no free-agent options left at 3rd, the Braves are likely going to peel back their spending after locking up a 3rd baseman. Signing Bumgarner and Donaldson would push the cap sheet upwards of $175 million, which would be completely out of character for Liberty Media. The Braves also have shown hesitancy towards long-term marriages. Even though they have spent nearly $100 million this offseason, only one of those contracts was for more than two years, and that was a three year deal with Will Smith, who was widely regarded as the best free-agent reliever.

I can’t say I blame Bum one bit. After all he’s done for not just the Giants, but for baseball, it’s about time he went after that bag. Depending on what side of the spectrum you are on, this could be disappointing, but it’s likely he’s priced himself out of Atlanta’s price range range. However, if you want to look at the glass half full, the fact that the Braves didn’t roll the dice on him at last year’s trade deadline looks have been a terrific decision. It would have been heartbreaking to have parted ways with a top prospect just to watch Bumgarner demand over $100 million and walk in the offseason.

We’ll keep you updated on any more signings and rumors.

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