Brewers outfielder and reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich entered Monday’s game against the Reds on the precipice of history. He homered in each of his team’s first four games to open the season, matching a major league record held by five other players (Trevor Story, Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz, Mark McGwire, and Willie Mays). If Yelich could homer again on Monday, he would have the record all to himself.
Unfortunately, Yelich was unable to go yard against the Reds. Starter Tanner Roark held him at bay, striking him out in the first inning, getting him to line out in the second, and inducing a ground out in the fourth. Lefty Zach Duke got him to ground out in the seventh. Yelich was able to manage a double in the ninth against Raisel Iglesias, but he remained in the yard. Ryan Braun drove him home with a double of his own, breaking a 3-3 tie to drive in what became the game-winning run. It was bittersweet for Yelich — if the game remained tied, he might have had another chance to go deep.
After Monday’s performance, Yelich is now batting a pedestrian .412/.565/1.235.
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.