The Diamondbacks swapped minor league outfielder Marcus Wilson for Red Sox backstop Blake Swihart and international bonus pool money, per announcements from both teams on Friday. Arizona GM Mike Hazen told reporters that the club intends to utilize Swihart at the outfield corners and third base as they try to “get his bat going,” with the expectation that he’ll get a chance to catch again in the future.
Swihart, 27, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Tuesday. The utility infielder/outfielder got off to a slow start this season, collecting two extra bases in his first hits of the year and batting .231/.310/.385 through 29 plate appearances. He made just six starts behind the plate as the primary backup to Christian Vázquez. It’s likely that he’ll play a similar role in Arizona, where the Diamondbacks already have several options in Carson Kelly, Caleb Joseph, and John Ryan Murphy.
Wilson, 22, was selected by the Diamondbacks in the second round of the 2014 draft and currently ranks no. 7 in their farm system, according to MLB.com. The centerfielder made the jump to Double-A Jackson at the start of the 2019 season and slashed .235/.350/.529 with five extra-base hits and three stolen bases (in four chances) through 40 PA.
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.