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.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.