Buster Posey: The Long Goodbye

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San Francisco is one of the greatest cities on earth. This hill city sits on the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula. It sparkles beautifully in the sunlight on long summer days. Days that are perfectly crafted to watch a ballgame, eat a dog,  and possibly drip some mustard on the old scorebook. But what will these Bay Area days be like without Buster Posey?

It will be odd to watch the San Francisco Giants without him. Sure, he wasn’t there for the 2020 season, but that was just 60 games and never felt real to begin with. And yes, we do still have the 2021 season and possibly the 2022 season as well, but, as they say, the years are short and the days are long.

But what if they re-sign him?

They won’t, so we’ll start our goodbyes right now.

Let’s Take a Quick Look Back

For the last ten years, Buster Posey has been the catcher for the Giants and a silent delight to watch. During his tenure, Buster has amassed quite the trophy shelf, including three World Series trophies, an MVP, and a Rookie of the year. In addition to these, Posey is a six-time All-Star and a National League batting champion. He is like a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf, a drive over the Golden Gate, or a cold boat ride to Alcatraz. He is a must-see in the city. But you have to take your time and really watch or you’ll miss the brilliance.

And a Quick Look at the Present

After last season, and the mild disappointment of Joey Bart (they likely just brought him up too soon) we couldn’t wait to get Buster back. Sure he has been on a steady offensive decline since 2017, but that doesn’t matter anymore, we just want to see him handle the staff again. And handle the staff–and bat–he has. Over the first 28 games of the season, he is batting .359/.423/.688 with six home runs. Also, he has a 1.110 OPS and a 207 OPS+. This puts him in the same offensive category as Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, and Shohei Ohtani. Over double the output of the average player. His batting stance is less complex from years past and he is driving the ball to all fields.

And a Distant Look Into the Future

So what does all this output mean for Mr. Posey? Well, first things first, as it is well known, the big bats get the big looks. This means that Posey is getting people’s attention again, including the enthrallment of other clubs around the league. While Posey’s contract is good through 2021 with a full no-trade clause and a club option for 2022, it is likely that we will not see him elsewhere this season unless he is itching to leave. And why would the Giants want him to? He is tearing the cover off the ball and San Francisco is currently in first place in the NL West, albeit a shaky first, but they are still in first, which nobody predicted.

Will he stick around for 2022? That all depends, but all signs point to yes. If he continues to have a good season and the Giants finish near the top of the West, then they will need to keep Posey around to groom Joey Bart. Bart, who had a dismal 2020, will need the guidance of the elder statesman to shake off the cloak of failure and become the catcher of the future that the Giants so desperately need.

It’s tough to tell where Buster Posey will be in 2023. Perhaps this article is a bit premature, but it’s never too early to start saying goodbye, especially when the goodbye is going to be hard. There’s no time like the present, but sometimes it’s hard to stay there when the inevitable is looming.



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Players Mentioned:

Buster Posey, Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Shohei Ohtani, Joey Bart