Phillies: Power Ranking the Top 5 Free Agent Pitchers
#3 Madison Bumgarner
While Ryu dominates in the regular season and struggles come October, “MadBum” seemingly does the opposite. 8 career playoff wins, 3 World Series rings, and a postseason ERA of 2.11, Bumgarner is the embodiment of “clutch”. His strong leadership qualities and ability to perform when it matters most will no doubt interest a ton of ball-clubs.
Bumgarner recorded a career high ERA of 3.90 this past season, but that doesn’t tell the full story. He led the entire MLB in starts with 34, had a WHIP of 1.127, regularly pitched into the 7th inning, and overall helped a rebuilding Giants team win far more games then they realistically should have. His career ERA of 3.13 and strong durability should ward off any concerns of regression.
At 6’ 4”, 242lbs and just 30 years old, Bumgarner is in a prime position to continue to deliver at a high caliber rate. Fangraphs projects his ERA to stabilize back around 3.80 over the course of the next three seasons, good enough to warrant a payday from a contender.
MadBum has career numbers that can go toe to toe with any other ace in the league at the moment, but what really sets him apart compared to other pitchers is his ability to be a franchise star. The San Francisco Giants were able to build an entire winning culture around him the last couple seasons. Even in a year where the Giants were seemingly “tanking”, Bumgarner was able to grind out 9 extra wins. His ability to embody an organization and sell jerseys should add to his already immense value this winter.