Giants catcher Buster Posey announced that he is opting out of the 2020 season, the start of which has been delayed roughly four months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In making his decision on Friday, Posey cited the fact that he and his wife recently adopted newborn twins. More:
Buster said the identical twin girls were born prematurely a week ago, but are doing well. Will need to be in the NICU for a while. Adoption became final yesterday. Both Farhan and Kapler were on call and completely support his decision to opt out of season. #sfgiants— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) July 10, 2020
Posey, age 33 and a six-time All-Star, becomes the 11th player and biggest name to opt out of the 2020 season thus far. Shortly thereafter, the team confirmed the news:
The Giants fully support Buster's decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021.
Posey is coming off a 2019 season in which he struggled offensively across 114 games. However, he remained a top-tier defender behind the plate. For his career, Posey -- the 2012 NL MVP -- owns an OPS+ of 128 in 11 MLB seasons with 140 home runs and more than 8,000 defensive innings behind the plate. While much depends on how Posey's decline phase unfolds and how much longer he plays, it's possible he'll wind up as a Hall of Fame candidate. Missing out on even the abbreviated 2020 season of course somewhat limits his opportunity to build that case.
Based on pro-rated salaries, Posey would've made a little less than $8 million this season. He's signed through the 2021 season with a club option for 2022. Assuming a full 2021 season, he'll make a bit more than $22 million next year.
As for the Giants, they didn't profile as contenders even with Posey on the roster -- the SportsLine Projection Model tabbed them for 27 wins in the 60-game regular season prior to Posey's announcement. In that sense, Posey's decision likely doesn't change the competitive landscape of the National League.
Right now, Rob Brantly may be in line to be Posey's primary replacement behind the plate. Worth noting, however, is that top prospect Joey Bart, a catcher out of Georgia Tech and the second overall pick of the 2016 draft, is in the Giants' 60-man player pool. Bart enters the 2020 season as the No. 14 overall prospect according to MLB.com. Last season, he put up an .824 OPS at the Double- and Triple-A levels. With that performance and at age 23, he's likely ready for the highest level.