Early on in his tenure, after his first season heading the Giants’ baseball operations, before he had hired a manager or a general manager, Farhan Zaidi had decisions to make regarding a franchise icon. Out of contention at the trade deadline in 2019, the Giants opted to hold on to Madison Bumgarner and, a few months later, didn’t explore a reunion seriously enough to prevent him from leaving as a free agent for Arizona.
The decision to let Bumgarner walk has long looked like the wise move, with the now-33-year-old left-hander without a team and the Diamondbacks still on the hook for more than $34 million of the $90 million they guaranteed him four winters ago. But the Giants are just now beginning to reap the rewards of the arguably more controversial choice, to settle for the draft pick compensation in return for Bumgarner leaving in free agency rather than the potential prospect capital from a midseason swap.
The arrival of Casey Schmitt last week represented a milestone for the current front office, as the first position player drafted and developed by the regime to reach the majors. Schmitt, 24, was taken in the second round, 49th overall, in the 2020 amateur draft, and could be only the first of many fruits from the class, thanks in part to the compensation picks — and accompanying bonus pool money — awarded from the departures of Bumgarner and closer Will Smith.
Not far off: left-hander Kyle Harrison, drafted 85th overall, and catcher Patrick Bailey, their first-round pick, 13th overall.
The 2020 draft was pared down to five rounds because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which added additional complications for evaluators attempting to scout prospects. Yet, even with its abbreviated length, it is looking like the most fruitful of the four so far under Zaidi and amateur scouting director Michael Holmes. The Giants’ seven picks yielded one player who is already making an impact on the major-league roster, and at least two more that appear primed to follow later this season.
Despite picking 13th, the Giants had the ninth-largest allotment of bonus money, which they used to lure Harrison away from his college commitment with an over-slot bonus. At the time, Harrison was considered a better prospect than his draft position indicated. But the De La Salle (Concord) graduate was thought to be a hard commitment to UCLA, and it took a $2.5 million signing bonus — three times slot value — to convince him to sign.
Less than three years later, Harrison is considered the best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball and might be on the Giants’ best pitching prospect since Bumgarner. Bailey, a switch-hitter, joined him at Triple-A Sacramento after earning a quick call-up early this season and could supplement the Giants’ iffy catching situation as soon as this season. With Schmitt, they represent a trio of homegrown talent the Giants have sorely lacked since their World Series era.
Worth noting: The exact picks the Giants received for Bumgarner and Smith haven’t been home runs. Nick Swiney, the left-hander taken 66th overall with the pick received for Bumgarner, reached Triple-A this season but has been converted to a reliever. Jimmy Glowenke, the shortstop selected with the next pick, returned to High-A Eugene for a second straight season.
But with the additional draft capital provided by moving on from the pair of World Series-winning pitchers, the Giants hoped to set a foundation for the next championship era, and with Schmitt, Harrison and Bailey, they may have done just that.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/05/16/sf-giants-seeds-sowed-from-madison-bumgarners-departure-begin-to-bloom/