Earlier this month, it was reported that the Reds and Giants were involved in “serious” trade talks involving center fielder Billy Hamilton. The two sides haven’t yet been able to agree on a deal, but talks remain ongoing as of today, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports.
Hamilton, 27, is entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. As such, he can become a free agent after the 2019 season, giving an acquiring team two years of control. Last season, the speedy outfielder hit .247/.299/.335 with 59 stolen bases and 85 runs scored in 633 plate appearances while also playing terrific defense.
The Giants sent center fielder Denard Span to the Rays in the Evan Longoria deal, so as of right now, Gorkys Hernandez would be the club’s starting center fielder if the season started today. Even if the Giants don’t end up acquiring Hamilton, they should still be expected to add another outfielder before the start of spring training.
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The 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. Recently Posey 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.