Giants' Buster Posey gets it right again in toughest career decision

Giants' Buster Posey gets it right again in toughest career decision

Buster Posey's off days are rarely days off. Posey and his wife, Kristen, spend much of their time raising funds for and visiting with infants and children who have cancer. They go to hospitals, host a gala and generally give as much time and energy as possible to a cause that will be Posey's legacy long after he hangs up his catcher's mask for the final time. 

The Giants catcher is a three-time World Champion, an MVP and possibly a Hall of Famer. But the biggest impact he is making on society comes in those hospital rooms, and it is a passion that will guide the rest of his life. 

Posey revealed that there is another cause near and dear to his heart Friday morning. Buster and Kristen have spent years trying to adopt, hopeful that they could add to a family that already included two vibrant 8-year-old twins. They have had a couple of adoptions fall through, including one in which they had a baby for a few days before the birth family changed its mind. 

As MLB became embroiled in ugly negotiations and the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the United States, the Poseys kept trying. They matched with a set of twins a couple of months ago, and last Friday, Ada and Livvi, twin girls, were born. As his teammates reported to Oracle Park for the first time, Posey stayed home and continued wrestling with a decision that seemed tough, but ultimately was not. 

Posey opted out of the 2020 MLB season Friday. He will stay home with his wife and a family that now has swelled to six with the addition of two babies who were born prematurely at just 32 weeks. 

"This ultimately wasn't that difficult a decision for me," Posey said. "From a baseball standpoint, it was a tough decision. From a family standpoint and feeling like I'm making a decision to protect children, our children, I think it was relatively easy."

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Posey now is a father of four, and much of his summer will be spent in a neonatal intensive care unit, not at the ballpark. He has spent months talking to doctors and getting his hands on any available data, and ultimately there was very little that needed to be decided. The twin girls will be in a fragile state for four months minimum, he said, which covers the entire baseball season. 

Posey first talked of potentially opting out on a video call with reporters last Saturday. He had already addressed the issue with team executives, manager Gabe Kapler and teammates. Posey has said repeatedly that his biggest fear was the unknown.

"Talking to different doctors, there are no solid answers on what it'll mean if the babies contract the virus," he said. "Unfortunately, there's just not any data right now. This is so new that we just don't have those answers."

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The final answer, then, became an easy one. Posey is 33, and he is foregoing what looked to be a potential bounceback season. He also is giving up about $8 million. Posey said that if the twins had not been born last week and had not been so premature, he "probably would be playing" this season.

The timing did not line up, but that doesn't matter. The Poseys long ago committed to a goal that is far more important than anything Posey would have accomplished on the field this season. He said he has wrestled with this decision, but on Friday morning he looked at peace. If he had any lingering doubts, they likely floated away Thursday night when his eight-year-olds, Lee and Addison, celebrated their new siblings by cutting up confetti and throwing it over their heads.

"My wife, myself, and our older children are just overwhelmed with joy to welcome them into our family, to love them unconditionally, and just share life with them," Posey said. 

Giants prospects could benefit from reported MLB player pool expansion

Giants prospects could benefit from reported MLB player pool expansion

While roughly 30 Giants minor leaguers train in Sacramento, some notable names were left off the 60-man player pool by the team.

Those prospects might be summoned to Sutter Health Park soon, though.

Baseball America reported Friday, citing sources, that MLB is considering allowing teams to add 15 players to their player pool. According to the report, some teams are struggling to play intrasquad games due to lack of position players.

This could be good news for Giants prospects like Sean Hjelle, Seth Corry, Tristan Beck, Luis Matos and others.

Twitter user @giantsprospects speculated which 15 players the Giants might want to add to the group in Sacramento.

Based on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 prospect ranking for the Giants, here's where those prospects fall on the list.

Seth Corry -- No. 5
Luis Matos -- No. 9
Sean Hjelle -- No. 10
Tristan Beck -- No. 19
Gregory Santos -- No. 17
Melvin Adon -- No. 24
Jairo Pomares -- No. 14
Blake Rivera -- No. 16
Kai-Wei Teng -- No. 22
Trevor McDonald -- N/A
Ricardo Genoves -- N/A
Rayner Santana -- N/A
Aeverson Arteaga -- No. 21
Kyle Harrison -- No. 12
Casey Schmitt -- No. 23

This list isn't official -- it's just a guess -- but if the Giants added those 15 players, it would mean a good portion of their top 30 prospects would be in Sacramento getting much-needed development time.

No. 1 prospect Joey Bart, No. 2 Marco Luciano, No. 3 Heliot Ramos, No. 4 Hunter Bishop, No. 6 Patrick Bailey, No. 7 Alexander Canario, No. 8 Luis Toribio, No. 11 Will Wilson, No. 13 Jaylin Davis and No. 25 Camilo Doval already are at the alternate site in Sacramento.

Schmitt was the Giants' second-round draft pick (No. 49 overall) this year, while Harrison was taken in the third round (No. 85 overall).

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Farhan Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations, is trying to rebuild the team's farm system, so getting several of his top prospects at least a month of development this year would go a long way to helping the big league club return to glory over the next few seasons.

Giants' Austin Slater has flexor strain, could be in lineup by weekend

Giants' Austin Slater has flexor strain, could be in lineup by weekend

The Giants got relatively good news from the tests taken on a young player who might be having a breakout season. 

Austin Slater has a right flexor strain that kept him out of the lineup for a second straight game, but manager Gabe Kapler said it's possible Slater will be able to DH sometime this weekend against the A's. 

Slater felt pain during Tuesday's game in Houston and had to sit Wednesday. He was able to take swings Friday and Kapler said that went well. 

"A flexor strain for a position player is less daunting, perhaps, than for a pitcher, because outfielders can monitor how often and how hard they throw," Kapler said. "They may have one or two throws an entire game. I think there are ways to allow flexors to come around for outfielders that you just couldn't do for pitchers."

Slater had an elbow sprain in 2018 but it happened the last week of the season, so there was no need for a timetable. The injury this time is poorly timed, as he has been one of the hotter hitters in the league, slugging three homers on the road trip and compiling numbers that are up there with Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano, the two early-season stars for the Giants. Slater has a .444 on-base percentage and is slugging .632, and he's tied for the MLB lead with five stolen bases. 

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The Giants released a few other injury updates Friday. Sam Coonrod (lat strain) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session, which should put him pretty close to a return. Drew Smyly (finger sprain) is throwing on flat ground and will be re-examined this weekend. Jeff Samardzija (shoulder inflammation) is rehabbing San Francisco but has not been cleared to throw. Reyes Moronta (shoulder surgery) is throwing bullpen sessions at the alternate site in Sacramento. 

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