After a memorable 11-season run with the Giants that included four straight All-Star appearances and top-10 finishes in NL Cy Young Award voting (2013-16), as well as three World Series titles (2010, '12 and '14) and 2014 Fall Classic MVP honors, Madison Bumgarner is headed to free agency for the first time. He is tied to Draft-pick compensation if he signs with a new team after being one of 10 players to receive the $17.8 million qualifying offer.
Below is a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the 30-year-old left-hander.
Who's the top SP prize after Cole and Strasburg?
Nov. 9: When it comes to this year's free agent starting pitchers, there's Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, and then everyone else. The top choice from a second tier that includes Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler and Hyun-Jin Ryu might differ from team to team.
In their story for ESPN+ (subscription required) breaking down the starting pitcher market, Buster Olney and Dave Schoenfield both named Wheeler as the pitcher they would most like to have after the Big 2.
"A lot of that depends on price, but I suspect that the teams that lose out on the Cole bidding may turn to Wheeler because of the flashes of excellence and his age (29)," Olney writes. "At last summer's Trade Deadline, the Braves, Yankees, Astros and Rays were all involved in conversations with the Mets about possible Wheeler trades, foreshadowing the interest in him this winter."
Bradford Doolittle, meanwhile, chose Bumgarner over Wheeler in a close race. In Doolittle's view, Wheeler might be the better choice for next season, but Bumgarner is more of a sure thing to provide above-average innings over the life of a multiyear contract.
Fans may be split between Wheeler and Bumgarner as well, if this MLB Trade Rumors poll (which starter would you sign between Wheeler, Bumgarner and Ryu?) is any indication. With more than 10,000 total votes cast as of Saturday afternoon, Wheeler is at 40.36 percent, while Bumgarner has garnered 38.51 percent.