The San Francisco Giants just signed lefty starter Madison Bumgarner to a five-year, $35-million extension. 2011 was Bumgarner's first full season in the big leagues. He struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings and walked only two per nine. That's quite good. It is, as you might expect, far too early to say whether Bumgarner's contract will be a good one.
But we can note this: If you've been keeping track, you'll notice that Bumgarner's new deal fits into a recent trend. Since the end of last season, we've had extensions for Matt Moore, John Danks, Gio Gonzalez, Derek Holland, Cory Luebke, Jon Niese, and now Bumgarner, young lefties all. (Clayton Kershaw bought out two of his arbitration years, too.) It's almost easier to think of young left-handers that haven't gotten contract extensions. Although that too becomes a challenge. Jon Lester? Nope, he got one. Ricky Romero? Think again. Jaime Garcia? Surely you jest.