Madison Bumgarner, 34, and Arizona’s relationship ended tragically. Her performance was tragic, her investment was tragic, and her internal relationships were tragic. Bumgarner’s image was also tarnished, as he had yet to find a new team.
The Athletic, a North American sports publication, reported on Wednesday that Bumgarner had been in constant conflict with the front office during his time in Arizona. The Athletic reported that Bumgarner and the front office clashed over pitching issues, a relationship that never recovered and ultimately led to his tragic release.
Bumgarner, who earned a reputation as San Francisco’s ace and the league’s signature “fall guy,” switched uniforms ahead of the 2020 season, signing a five-year, $85 million deal with Arizona. Arizona counted on Bumgarner to anchor the rotation as the team’s ace and buy time for younger players to develop. But Bumgarner never lived up to expectations, falling apart from the start.
Starting with a dismal 6.48 ERA in nine games in 2020, Bumgarner went on to post a 5.23 ERA in 69 games over his three-and-a-half years in Arizona. Obviously, these are not the numbers you’d expect from a guy making close to $20 million a year. This year, he struggled as well, going 3-0 with a 10.26 ERA in his first four starts. Then Arizona pulled the knife. With a year and a half and $34 million left on his contract, they simply released Bumgarner. It was a shocking move.
The Athletic analyzed that the breakdown in trust between the two sides was the key to the decision. The conflict goes back a long way. Bumgarner pitched relatively well in the last two games of the season after struggling in the early part of 2020. When asked by local media for his secret, Bumgarner responded by saying that he was “avoiding scouting reports from the team,” much to the displeasure of the team.
The Athletic believes that this interview was the beginning of the conflict and tension between Bumgarner and the front office. In fact, Bumgarner and Dan Harron, Arizona’s pitching analyst, had an uncomfortable exchange over the comments, which led to a breakdown in communication. “After that incident, the two never spoke again,” The Athletic quoted a source as saying, adding that it was a serious conflict.
The Athletic’s analysis is that Bumgarner, who has consistently struggled, was reluctant to make changes. According to the report, the Arizona front office encouraged Bumgarner to change several aspects of his game, including where he steps on the mound and his pitch mix. It was an effort to find other ways to get him back on track since his performance was slipping and he wasn’t rebounding easily. 안전놀이터
However, Bumgarner was more concerned with his declining velocity and obsessed with finding his original velocity than he was with listening to Front’s advice, according to The Athletic, which reported that he “had a hard time accepting that he wasn’t the pitcher he once was.
Eventually, Bumgarner reportedly had similar conflicts with the front office as well as the coaching staff in July 2022, which led to discontent within the Arizona organization. Ultimately, deciding that he had crossed a bridge of no return, Arizona cut Bumgarner after he failed to rebound early in the 2023 season. Trying to play out the remaining year and a half of his contract would have only hurt the team’s atmosphere.
This may explain why Bumgarner still hasn’t found a new team. Bumgarner has been a free agent for a month now. With Arizona paying all of his remaining $34 million in salary, a team that wants him would only have to pay the major league minimum. It’s a no-brainer. But no one is reaching out to Bumgarner, and with his declining skills, it’s possible that the story of this maverick has gotten out to other teams.