Giants call up Buster Posey

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Buster Posey batting practice.jpgLast night, a source told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that the Giants were going to call up Buster Posey before Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Well, Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse and ESPN’s Buster Olney just confirmed it. Posey is on his way back to the big leagues.

On Friday afternoon, Craig pointed us to a post where Baggarly assumed Posey would play first base upon his promotion and he held true to that belief after Friday’s news:

Posey started at first base for the second consecutive time Friday
night. Cuuurious. It’s a pretty safe assumption he was doing
more than just resting his knees from catching. He was 2-for-3 with a
double, a walk and an RBI, lifting his PCL average to .349.

I think Posey will get most of his starts at first base, with Aubrey
Huff moving to left field. But Bengie Molina was hitless again Friday
night and extended his streak to 19 games without an RBI. He’s hitting
just .203 in May.

In other words, as opposed to last September, Posey will actually play this time.

Posey, 23, is batting .349/.442/.552 with six home runs and 32 RBI over 172 at-bats with Triple-A Fresno this season. The 2008 first-round pick has a .333/.427/.542 batting line in parts of three minor league seasons. Even better, he has a 102/98 K/BB ratio in 750 plate appearances. He’ll bring some much needed patience to a lineup that has severely lacked it for quite some time now.

By the way, Posey will be a “Super Two” if he is up in the big leagues to stay. Remember, he already has 33 days of service time due to his call-up last season.
 

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.