Report: Jorge Posada will announce retirement within next two weeks

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Sweeny Murti of WFAN in New York just reported that Jorge Posada will announce his retirement within the next two weeks.

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise. We already knew Posada wasn’t returning to the Yankees in 2012, but he hadn’t ruled out the possibility of continuing his career elsewhere. In fact, there were even rumors of the division-rival Rays expressing interest just two weeks ago. Still, it would have been weird to see him end his career in any other uniform.

Posada, 40, batted just .235/.315/.398 with 14 home runs, 44 RBI and a .714 OPS over 387 plate appearances last season. If Murti’s report is indeed correct, he’ll end his 17-year major-league career with a .273 lifetime batting average and an .848 OPS to go along with 275 home runs, 1,065 RBI, five All-Star appearances and four World Series titles.

Those are fantastic offensive numbers for a catcher and while this sounds funny to say, one could argue that he’s actually a little underrated for his contributions as a Yankee. That’s what surrounding star power will do sometimes. He should make for an interesting Hall of Fame case.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.