• Madison Bumgarner signing gives the Diamondbacks flexibility to deal Robbie Ray
  • They have needs at outfield and in the bullpen and trading Ray could solve both issues
  • Indians traded Corey Kluber for a similar package over the weekend

Madison Bumgarner signed a surprise deal Sunday with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a move few suspected, and now the NL West title hopefuls are turning their attention to the trade market and another left-hander in Robbie Ray.

Bumgarner’s five-year deal is worth $85 million. There had been speculation around industry insiders that MadBum might get a contract worth $100 million and there was interest from multiple parties.

The San Francisco Giants did tender a qualifying offer to the southpaw before he chose free agency. That means Arizona owes a second-round draft pick to their divisional rivals.

Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at AT&T Park on August 20, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The D-Backs now have Bumgarner, Ray, Luke Weaver, Mike Leake, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly at their disposal as starting pitchers. Robbie Ray is entering the final season of his Arizona contract and is expected to earn $10.5 million after arbitration.

With the Diamondbacks having needs in the outfield and in the bullpen, shopping Ray to fill these gaps makes perfect sense to the normally cost-conscious organization. Corey Kluber just got dealt from the Cleveland Indians to the Texas Rangers for a similar package.

The Tribe received both veteran outfielder Delino DeShields and reliever Emmanuel Clase in exchange for the two-time Cy Young winner. Insiders were surprised that Cleveland agreed to this deal as it seems a bit lop-sided against them.

However, it does prove that should the Diamondbacks trade Ray, they would be able to plug the gaps at their club. There is the possibility of the club looking to the free agent market to meet their needs.

According to Steve Gilbert of, Arizona had about $30 million in cap space entering the offseason. Madison Bumgarner’s contract is worth $17 million per year on average and the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that $15 million of the $85 million total is deferred money.

With relievers such as Dellin Betances, Will Harris and Steve Cishek still unsigned plus outfielders such as Nicholas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna and Avisail Garcia still available, there are plenty of free agent options for the Diamondbacks to choose from.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Arizona couldn’t double-dip in both markets. Adding free agents plus trading Robbie Ray would mean getting the parts the D-Backs need now plus trading a player entering his walk year for young prospects in return.

Signing Bumgarner seems to have not limited Arizona’s options but rather broadened them.