Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Buster Posey will indeed be the Giants’ everyday catcher next season. But beyond that? It’s hard to say.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged yesterday that there was some internal debate about whether Posey would be better off at a position like first base, where he could prolong his career and avoid the daily rigors of playing the most demanding position in the game. While the 24-year-old could still be moved, they aren’t ready to go there yet.
“Well, yeah. We had internal discussions,” Bochy said. “But we’re all in agreement. We need Buster behind the plate.”
“That doesn’t mean, as you look down the road, whether it’s Hector Sanchez or someone else, (a position change) is a possibility,” Bochy said. “But playing next year isn’t going to shorten his career.”
Posey continues to progress well from reconstructive surgery on his left ankle. He is currently using a pitching machine to catch from the crouch and hopes to begin catching live pitching at the in November at the Giants’ minor league complex. While he still has some hurdles to cross, the Giants are optimistic that he’ll be ready for spring training.
The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”
While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.
The deal has not been confirmed by the team.