Madison Bumgarner wasn't going to be a free agent until after the 2016 season, regardless of any contract extension. He was likely to get a sizable raise in 2014, and if he pitched well, he was going to get bigger raises in 2015 and 2016. But if the Giants wanted him, they had him.
So this isn't the sort of news that dramatically changes the short-term fortunes of the franchise, like the Matt Cain extension. It's not like the Giants were going to wake up next season with a homegrown rotation of Brian Burres, Boof Bonser, Ryan Vogelsong, Clay Hensley, and Pat Misch. Still: Bumgarner is a bad man, and he'll probably be on the Giants for a long, long time. From the Giants' press release:
The San Francisco Giants have signed left-handed pitcher Madison Bumgarner to a five-year extension through 2017 with a club/vesting option for 2018 and a club option for 2019, Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today. The five-year extension covers Bumgarner through his arbitration years and his first year of free agency.
The Giants did something similar with Cain (which worked out) and Noah Lowry (which didn't), and the difference between how those deals worked out is a great way to explain the risk/reward of an extension like this. The Giants paid Cain $16 million through 2011. That allowed them to spend, spend, spend on ... well, that's not important. The important part was that he was a bargain.
Lowry didn't give the Giants a great return on their investment. But it wasn't the kind of contract that brutalized the budget. They locked him up before he got prohibitively expensive, and it was still a smart risk, even if it didn't work out.
The best part? Them options. If Bumgarner continues on a Steve Carlton trajectory, the Giants aren't going to lose him. And if Bumgarner continues on a Bret Saberhagen trajectory, well, the Giants will have some choices to make. But they get the option of keeping Bumgarner around without a locked-in commitment. That's probably why they call them "options." I just thought it was a French term, or something.
It's easy to get too giddy about this move -- the Giants had Bumgarner around for a long, long time when they started the day, and they still do -- but that doesn't mean this isn't a great deal. Those options at the end, man. So good.
Edit: We have money totals from Bumgarner's agency. Five years, $35 million for the guaranteed money, and that could increase to $40 million if he qualifies for Super 2 after this year.