The Arizona Diamondbacks have released veteran left-hander Madison Bumgarner, the team announced Wednesday. He had been designated for assignment last week. Bumgarner, 33, surrendering seven runs on seven hits and four walks in three innings against the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday, his final start with Arizona. He has a 10.26 ERA this year through four starts.
Bumgarner originally joined the Diamondbacks during the 2019-20 offseason, signing a five-year pact worth $85 million. He had previously established himself as an above-average starter with a knack for postseason heroics during his time with the San Francisco Giants. Bumgarner failed to live up to that reputation in the desert. He finishes his Arizona career with an 80 ERA+ through 69 starts. Even his best single-season showing, back in 2021, still saw him check in with a below-average mark for starters with a 90 ERA+.
Although Bumgarner won't pitch again for the Diamondbacks, Arizona is responsible for the balance of his contract -- he had $37 million remaining entering the season, including $14 million next year. Now that he has been released, any team can sign Bumgarner for the prorated portion of the $720,000 league minimum.
"We've never been asked to make decisions based on money or anything like that," Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen told the Arizona Republic last week. "We need to win baseball games. We're trying to win every single baseball game we're going out to play. We want the five guys in the rotation to solidify those spots and give us some stability there. ... We'll continue to assess it as we go, but we need to win baseball games."
The Diamondbacks have gotten off to a hot start this season. They enter Wednesday a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. Clearly they felt their competitive aspirations were being undercut by Bumgarner's presence in their rotation. He had, after all, completed five innings just once in his four attempts.
So far, Arizona has used lefty Tommy Henry in Bumgarner's rotation spot, with top prospect Brandon Pfaadt still in Triple-A.