The Giants and Buster Posey have yet to begin contract negotiations

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The central fact of economic life for the San Francisco Giants over the next few years will be how much Buster Posey is to be paid. For he is now, for the first time, arbitration eligible. And because he is one of the rare ones who will be arbitration eligible for four years. As of now, however, nothing is doing as far as negotiations between the team and the player:

 

Normally a team would want to buy out an MVP-caliber players’ arbitration years and maybe some years of free agency. The Giants, however, didn’t do this with Tim Lincecum. If his 2012 fall to Earth becomes the new normal they made a good, albeit risky call. Is it possible they’re willing to gamble a bit on Posey too, knowing that catchers aren’t often blessed with longevity?

Seems hard to picture given how clearly and firmly Posey is the face of the franchise now, having led them to two World Series wins, but it’ll be interesting to see how they proceed with him all the same.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.