SCOTTSDALE -- There was never any question, even after an offseason spending spree, that Madison Bumgarner would take the ball on Opening Day. At some point, the Giants will be faced with a similar no-brainer regarding their ace's contract.
Bumgarner is the leader of the staff, but in an odd twist, he is now the lowest paid member of the rotation. The left-hander will make $9.75 million this year in the second-to-last guaranteed season of a five-year extension he signed at the start of the 2012 season, long before he had ever made an Opening Day start or become a postseason hero.
On Wednesday, after reporting to camp, Bumgarner said he's not thinking about his contract and he won't push for an extension anytime soon.
"Not at all -- I'm extremely happy for (the other starters)," Bumgarner said. "If everything goes the way I want and what I work for, then that'll come along in due time. I'm not at all worried about that. When I signed my deal I knew what I wanted to do, but you never know what's going to happen. I was prepared for that."
Barring a catastrophic injury, the Giants will certainly pick up team options in 2018 and 2019, paying Bumgarner an additional $24 million. Still, that's nothing compared to the going rate. Jake Peavy got that much as a veteran on a two-year deal, Jeff Samardzija got $90 million after a down year, Johnny Cueto got $130 million in December, and Matt Cain signed a $127.5 million extension as he approached free agency in 2012.
Bumgarner should get the biggest contract in franchise history. He's still just 26 years old, and if he keeps trending in this direction he'll be in position to make at least $30-35 million per season. He said that discussion is one for a different day.
"I knew (when I signed) that if we're having this conversation, I did good," he said. "If everybody was talking about 'they overpaid this guy when he only had one year in the big leagues' then obviously I didn't. It's a good thing that you're asking these questions."