On Saturday, the Diamondbacks improved to a 19-4 record after a nailbiting 4-3 finish against the Nationals. Trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, A.J. Pollock produced the game-tying RBI single off of Ryan Madson, then returned in the 10th to walk in the go-ahead run. With the win, the D-backs tied the Red Sox for the best record in the majors; more significantly, they clinched their ninth straight series to open the season, a feat that hasn’t been recorded by any major league team since the 2001 Mariners. The last National League team to do it? The Cubs’ championship-winning squad in 1907.
Of course, a potential World Series win is still a good six months away, and there’s no telling how the rest of the D-backs’ season will shake out before then. It’s worth noting that their series wins haven’t come cheap — they’ve taken down the Dodgers, Cardinals and Phillies in that nine-series span — though they’ll have to overpower the Dodgers and Astros in the coming week if they want to improve on their historic record. If Saturday’s win was any indication (including David Peralta‘s first multi-homer performance and a bullpen that currently leads the league with a collective 1.62 ERA), they’re well-positioned to do so.
For now, club manager Torey Lovullo is willing to acknowledge the team’s strength while tempering expectations for what they might be able to accomplish in the months to come. “It just means that we’re doing a lot of things right and we’re a good baseball team,” he told reporters Saturday. “We’re excited about that. We know that we’re having a lot of success and it takes a different approach day by day. We’re always ready to play and perform.”
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.