Getty Images

Rockies mulling Carlos Gonzalez return

5 Comments

Jon Heyman says that the Colorado Rockies are interested in re-signing free agent Carlos Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, who a few years ago seemed like a star but since then has seemed more like a Coors creation, has managed to hit a mere .269/.334/.445 (92 OPS+) in the past two seasons and was largely overlooked in 2018-19 free agent market with several better corner outfielder options. At least he has the benefit of familiarity to the Rockies, for whom he has played ten of his eleven big league seasons.

Gonzalez, 33, has a career batting line of .328/.388/.605 in 2,566 plate appearances at Coors Field. It would not be at all surprising to see him back in black, white and purple this spring.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
11 Comments

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.”