MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins are willing to trade some of their young, controllable pitchers to fill other areas of need. Thus far, though, nothing has felt like the “right deal” to Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.
Of their six arbitration-eligible players, five are pitchers: Mike Dunn, Steve Cishek, Aaron Crow, Nathan Eovaldi, and Henderson Alvarez. Scores more have yet to accrue enough service time to become arbitration-eligible, such as Tom Koehler. For mid-market teams who won’t even bother to deign interest in top free agent arms like Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, the Marlins certainly look like an attractive trading partner with which to find a pitching upgrade.
Frisaro adds that, following the history-making contract extension with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins have also broached extending Jose Fernandez, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Adeiny Hechavarria. Each in the quartet has yet to become eligible for arbitration, meaning they will not hit free agency until 2019 at the earliest.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”