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J.J. Hoover to handle closer’s role for the Reds


Pity the man who has to fill the enormous shoes of Aroldis Chapman. The Reds sent the flame-throwing left-hander to the Yankees earlier this offseason, leaving an enormous vacancy in the back of the bullpen. Reds manager Bryan Price says that the closer’s role is now J.J. Hoover‘s to lose, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports.

Hoover, 28, is no slouch. Over parts of four seasons with the Reds, the right-hander has a 3.34 ERA with 225 strikeouts and 101 walks in 223 2/3 innings. His fastball even sits at a capable 93 MPH. There are some warning flags, though, as Hoover’s strikeout rate dropped from 27 percent to below 20 percent between 2014-15 and his average walk rate (11 percent) is rather high for someone handling high-leverage innings.

Price also mentioned prospect Zack Weiss as someone to keep an eye on. Across 52 innings at Double-A Pensacola last season, he compiled a 2.42 ERA and a 68/14 K/BB ratio. The 23-year-old was selected by the Reds in the sixth round of the 2013 draft and was used as a closer exclusively in 2015.

Buster Posey has opted out of the season

Buster Posey has opted out
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Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The San Francisco Giants have issued a statement saying that they “fully support Buster’s decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021.”

Posey and his wife are adopting identical twin girls who were born prematurely and who are currently in the NICU and will be for some time. They are stable, but obviously theirs is not a situation that would be amenable to the demands of a baseball season as it’s currently structured.

Poset had missed all of the Giants’ workouts so far, Recently he said, “I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well. I think I want to see kind of how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. I think it would be a little bit maybe naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you, not only around you here but paying attention to what’s happening in the country and different parts of the country.” He said that he talked about playing with his wife quite a great deal but, really, this seems like a no-brainer decision on his part.

In opting out Posey is foregoing the 60-game proration of his $21.4 million salary. He is under contract for one more year at $21.4 million as well. The Giants can pick up his 2022 club option for $22 million or buy him out for $3 million.

A veteran of 11 seasons, Posey has earned about $124 million to date. Which seems to be the common denominator with players who have opted out thus far. With the exception of Joe Ross and Héctor Noesí, the players to have opted out thus far have earned well above $10 million during their careers. Players that aren’t considered “high risk” and elect not to play do not get paid and do not receive service time.