The Giants and catcher Buster Posey avoided arbitration in January by agreeing to a one-year, $8 million contract, but Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com hears that the two sides have “exchanged preliminary ideas” about a multi-year deal which would buy out his remaining arbitration years.
As a Super Two player, Posey is arbitration-eligible for four years as opposed to the usual three, so he remains under team control through 2016. His salary figures to escalate significantly over the next three years, so while there’s some risk involved given the position that he plays, locking him up now would secure some cost certainty for the Giants.
“Our view of Buster is that he’ll be reasonable,” Giants CEO Larry Baer told me. “We’ve thrown some things out. They’ve thrown some things out. It’s going to be more evolved over time. It’s not a `check back in two weeks, we may have something’ kind of thing.”
Baer classified getting an extension done with Posey as “a matter of importance,” but neither side views Opening Day as a deadline.
Posey, 25, owns a .314/.380/.503 batting line over his first 308 games in the majors. His 172 OPS+ last season led all hitters.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.