The Giants announced on Monday that the club options for starter Madison Bumgarner and infielder Pablo Sandoval have been exercised. Bumgarner’s option is for $12 million and Sandoval’s is for $18 million. Sandoval also has a club option for the 2020 season worth $17 million with a $5 million buyout.
Bumgarner, 29, missed the first two months of the season due to a fractured left pinkie finger suffered during spring training. He made his season debut on June 5 and went on to go 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA and a 109/43 K/BB ratio. His strikeout rate was his lowest since 2010 and his walk rate was the highest of his career. The Giants have been expected to discuss a contract extension with Bumgarner, but given those trends, the club may wait to see how he performs going into next season before finalizing anything.
Sandoval, 32, had his best season since 2014, serving mostly as a corner infielder for the Giants. He hit a respectable .248/.310/.417 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 252 plate appearances. He will be back in a bench role next season.
[Update: It’s worth pointing out that the Red Sox will be picking up all but the major league minimum ($545,000) of the $18 million Sandoval is owed, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area notes.]
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.