Justin Verlander isn’t the only former MVP getting paid today, as Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that the Giants and reigning NL MVP Buster Posey have agreed to a nine-year contract.
Posey was set to make $8 million this season, but this new contract wipes that away and will pay him $167 million from 2013-2021. In doing so the Giants have bought out Posey’s three remaining seasons of arbitration eligibility (2014-2016) and his first five seasons of free agency (2017-2021), and there’s also an option for 2022.
Posey will be 35 years old in 2022, so this basically makes him a Giant for life. Not bad for a guy who was facing major questions this time last year as he came back from a broken ankle that ended his 2011 season. Posey’s deal is the second-highest in baseball history for a catcher, trailing only Joe Mauer’s eight-year, $184 million contract with the Twins that was signed in March of 2010. Posey now, like Mauer then, is coming off an MVP-winning season that included a batting title, although he was further from free agency than Mauer then.
Here’s the full contract breakdown:
Bonus: $7 million
2013: $8 million
2014: $12.5 million
2015: $16.5 million
2016: $20 million
2017: $21.4 million
2018: $21.4 million
2019: $21.4 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $21.4 million
2022: $22 million option or $3 million buyout
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.