Since the start of free agency the Los Angeles Dodgers have been connected to Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, in addition to second- and third-tier players on the open market.
Although the Dodgers were among the teams to meet with Strasburg, he long was viewed as likely to re-sign with the Washington Nationals. That came to fruition when they agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract that was record-setting.
The Dodgers also met with Cole, on Tuesday got face time with agent Scott Boras, and asserted they remained well in the thick of the sweepstakes. However, shortly after their confidence was made public, Cole agreed to a shattering nine-year, $324 million deal with the New York Yankees.
With the Dodgers still in search of a starting pitcher, they are now expected to pursue Madison Bumgarner, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
#Dodgers will now shift their focus to free-agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2019
The Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are among the teams that have been connected to Bumgarner thus far. In light of Zack Wheeler receiving a five-year, $118 million contract from the Philadelphia Phillies, Bumgarner is said to be seeking a similar deal — in the neighborhood of five years and $100 million.
Although Bumgarner, 30, is a year older than Wheeler, he is buoyed by an extensive history of postseason success. That may be of interest to the Dodgers, but their reported forthcoming pursuit still comes as a bit of a surprise.
Bumgarner, who of course has only pitched for the Giants up to this point in his career, has long been a Dodgers’ nemesis. He regularly clashed with Yasiel Puig and this past season exchanged words with Max Muncy.
That’s not to say players are unable to move past heated moments, but Bumgarner’s personality has long been viewed as one that wouldn’t mesh well with the Dodgers clubhouse.
Furthermore, Hyun-Jin Ryu also remains a free agent and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman confirmed the club has some level of interest in a reunion.
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