Madison Bumgarner “would love” to be in the 2016 Home Run Derby

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Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner has hit 11 home runs since the start of the 2014 season, a span of 194 plate appearances. According to Baseball Reference, 197 position players have accumulated at least that many plate appearances since 2014 and have hit 11 or fewer home runs. Compared to other pitchers, Bumgarner’s hitting prowess is otherworldly, but he even holds up compared to players whose everyday job is to hit.

Fans have long been suggesting Bumgarner’s inclusion in the annual Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star Game festivities, but their wishes have gone unanswered. Manager Bruce Bochy was asked about it by ESPN Radio’s Peter Pascarelli, who said, “Bumgarner would love to do it, but Bochy says there’s no way. Though it’s fun to imagine.”

The 2016 All-Star Game will be held at San Diego’s Petco Park on July 12. Petco Park has a reputation as being unkind to hitters due to its spacious confines.

It’s understandable why Bochy doesn’t want his star pitcher participating in a silly exhibition. If the lefty were to tweak something, it could put a serious stick in the Giants’ spokes, as the club entered Sunday night’s game against the Cardinals at 35-23, good for first place in the NL West. Still, selfishly, the rest of us can hope to one day see a pitcher participate in the Home Run Derby.

Bumgarner, in 35 plate appearances this season, has a pair of home runs and five RBI. And he did this in batting practice before Sunday night’s game:

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).