You heard that right. Madison Bumgarner is staying in the NL West but is trading orange for red. Bumgarner reportedly signed a 5-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks according to Jeff Passan, Ken Rosenthal and a slew of other sources.
The Diamondbacks were not on my list of places I expected Bumgarner to land. Last year they traded away Zack Greinke and there were even rumors floating around that they were (maybe are?) listening to offers for Robbie Ray. Perhaps they’ll use Ray as leverage to fill some gaps in the outfield.
For the Rockies, this doesn’t change much. We’ll still see Bumgarner just as often.
At the winter meetings, MLB released another report on baseballs and why there were so many home runs hit in 2019. There were 6,776 home runs hit in 2019 to be exact. Since MLB purchased Rawlings in 2018, the accusations about MLB “juicing” baseballs has run rampant. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has repeatedly denied these allegations and insists that the baseballs continue to be hand stitched.
“The uncertainty or the inability to know how the baseball is going to play is problematic,” Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said here at last week’s winter meetings. “The only thing that kind of gives you some solace is that you trust, and you know, that everybody is playing with the same baseball.”
The Rockies aren’t the only team concerned with the way baseballs are produced and how it’s changing the way the game is played. Despite the concerns from all over the league, Manfred insists that they will not switch to a synthetic baseball. The conspiracy theories will continue to be thrown out as a possible reason for an increase in homers. Others insist the increase is due to a better understanding of advanced metrics like launch angle.
So, for 2020 and years to come it will come down to this: MLB will not be able to predict how baseballs will react year to year. Will 2020 have another huge amount of home runs?