Yairo Munoz
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Cardinals release Yairo Muñoz following unexpected departure from team

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The Cardinals placed innfielder Yairo Muñoz on unconditional release waivers, the team announced. The move comes after Muñoz departed spring training for his home in the Dominican Republic without speaking to the team.

The whole affair is surprising, given that Muñoz has been a useful depth piece for St. Louis. He’s appeared in parts of the last two seasons and has played well enough. Muñoz reportedly felt a pop in his hamstring in his last spring appearance and was scheduled for an MRI, but did not show up for the test. Per Derrick Goold, he relayed through his agent today that he “saw the writing on the wall” and didn’t like his role.

General Manager John Mozeliak gave further comments to the media:

It’s definitely an odd situation, and you have to wonder what’s going through Muñoz’s head. Being unsatisfied with your role is one thing, and there’s definitely added frustration from the hamstring situation. But just up and leaving is quite a radical step. If he’s healthy, one would imagine there would be at least some degree of interest in Muñoz given his past usefulness in the field. Making this kind of move, though, will make teams think twice about signing a player.

The Cardinals have a fair amount of infield depth between the minors and Tommy Edman‘s built-in versatility, but may now be in the market for another up-and-down type who can plug holes as needed.

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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.