It's likely going to cost the Twins at least $100 million if they want to sign free-agent starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
With the MLB Winter Meetings underway in San Diego, California, Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that Bumgarner's camp has made it clear that the 30-year-old left-hander is seeking a five-year deal worth at least $100 million.
Sherman adds that Bumgarner's deal will likely come in lower than the $118 million deal Zack Wheeler signed with the Phillies. And it doesn't appear that the Twins have too far to go considering La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported that the Twins made Wheeler a five-year, $100 million offer.
Will the Twins make the same offer to Bumgarner, or perhaps up the ante to add an ace-caliber pitcher to the 2020 starting rotation?
That remains to be seen, but The Athletic's Dan Hayes has reported that the Twins were willing to increase their offer to Wheeler.
"The Twins did continue to show a willingness to spend and increase their offer but were informed that they weren’t among Wheeler’s top choices a day before the decision was made," Hayes wrote in a Dec. 6 mailbag (paywall).
Hayes adds that left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is at the top of the Twins' free-agent list, as he says Minnesota would probably prefer to give Ryu a three-year deal worth up to $65 million than risk a longer-term deal (five years) with Bumgarner. That said, Hayes does confirm the Twins' interest in Bumgarner and others.
Ryu, 32, who finished second in the National League Cy Young vote with a 2.32 ERA last season, has battled arm injuries throughout his career. Bumgarner is three years younger but because he's been a reliable workhorse he has a ton of miles (1,950 career innings) on his arm.
Here's how the two compare over the past two seasons.
- Ryu 2018-19: 265 IP, 65 ER (2.21 ERA), 252 K, 39 BB (44 starts)
- Bumgarner 2018-19: 337.2 IP, 137 ER (3.65 ERA), 312 K, 86 BB (55 starts)
Neal III is citing two sources who have told him that Ryu would prefer to stay on the West Coast.
Expect more rumors to unfold as the winter meetings progress.