Giants

Giants' Buster Posey 'wouldn't want to play' for any other MLB team

Giants' Buster Posey 'wouldn't want to play' for any other MLB team

Buster Posey has worn a Giants jersey for the last 11 years. He made his MLB debut at only 22 years old, and as he turns 33 in two weeks, the three-time World Series champion couldn't imagine ever wearing a different uniform. 

“I don’t see myself playing for any other team -- I don’t,” Posey told The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly Sunday at spring training. “I just value … I don’t know. I just value what I’ve been able to accomplish here. Not that going to another team would diminish what you did. But personally, as a fan, I like to see guys stay with the same team.

“So no, I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.”

As Posey has seen with many others over his playing career, it's not that simple sometimes. He made his MLB debut three days after Madison Bumgarner first toed the rubber as a Giant. Bengie Molina was the catcher that day when Bumgarner allowed two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings against the San Diego Padres. Posey then caught the lefty in 228 regular-season games, along with many more memorable ones in the playoffs. 

Now, Posey will step in the batter's box with Bumgarner pitching against him as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bumgarner signed on with the D-backs over the offseason when he became a free agent for the first time. Posey soon might face the same reality. His nine-year contract ends after the 2021 season. 

[RELATED: Zaidi explains why Joey Bart was assigned to minors camp]

“We’ll see,” Posey said to Baggarly when asked about his future after 2021. “I could be back here, you know?”

That very well could be true. But in 2022, Posey will be 35 and catcher Joey Bart, the Giants' top prospect, will be 25. While predicting the future is anyone's best bet, Posey made one thing clear in his conversation with Baggarly: He wants to be a Giant for life.

What Chadwick Tromp's minor league stats tell us about Giants catcher

What Chadwick Tromp's minor league stats tell us about Giants catcher

The Giants once again have a three-man race at catcher, even after Buster Posey opted out of the 2020 MLB season. And no, we're not talking about top prospect Joey Bart right now. 

Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly always were expected to compete as Posey's backup going into the season. Now, 25-year-old Chadwick Tromp (that's with an o, not a u) has entered the race with a red-hot bat in Summer Camp. 

There's reason to understand why many fans are wondering who Tromp is, and might not have heard of him at all. The Giants signed the Aruba native to a minor league contract in January with an invite to spring training, and he only had one hit in 10 at-bats. He has taken complete advantage of this second go-around though, ever since players arrived at Oracle Park on July 1.

Tromp was a late addition to the Giants' 60-man roster, joining the party on July 4. On Sunday, he displayed the kind of power that has opened eyes around the coaching staff. The right-handed hitter homered twice -- once off righty Jeff Samardzija and once off lefty Sam Selman -- in San Francisco's Black-Orange scrimmage. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Tromp is a bit of an unknown among Giants fans. So, what does his past tell us about the possible next Giants starting catcher? 

Shoulder surgery ended Tromp's season early in 2018 after hitting .264 with just two home runs in 53 games for Triple-A Louisville as a member of the Cincinnati Reds' organization. The injury kept him off the field until mid-Summer when he went to the Arizona Rookie League on a rehab stint. There, Tromp hit .271 with two homers, five doubles and a .910 OPS before joining Louisville in mid-July. 

Tromp, who always has been seen as strong defensively with a keen eye at the plate, had a power resurgence his second time in Triple-A. He homered in both of his first two games back with Louisville and turned July into his own Home Run Derby. The catcher hit .385 with six long balls, 14 RBI and a 1.077 slugging percentage in just nine games. 

In Louisville's first game in August, he went deep again. Tromp homered in five straight games from July 26 through Aug. 2, and knocked in 12 runs. 

[RELATED: Posey's leadership will be missed but won't be forgotten]

And then, he never homered again the rest of the year. Tromp hit just .196 with 18 strikeouts over 16 games in August. It was far from the dominant display he showcased the month before. 

Tromp, who's a stout 5-foot-8 and 221 pounds just turned 25 in March. He hasn't made his MLB debut yet, and has gone through two extended stints in Triple-A. The last time he hit over .300 in a season was 2017 in Advanced Single-A. He also played for the Netherlands this offseason in the Premier 12 and went deep against the Dominican Republic, but struggled over just eight at-bats.

Tromp's minor league stats are far from dominant, but he has shown the ability last season and in Summer Camp to catch fire at the plate.

More than anyone looking to get a fresh start, Tromp is coming in with a clean slate for the Giants. Even newcomers like Darin Ruf have more of a history the Giants can go off of. It only makes sense with everything going on that a wild card like Tromp finds himself having a chance to the lead this team behind the plate. 

From Buster to Chadwick, the Giants might have their next perfectly weird name to announce to a crowd of nobody, and he's taking advantage of the opportunity.

Watch Pablo Sandoval pitch at Giants Summer Camp on Oracle Park mound

Watch Pablo Sandoval pitch at Giants Summer Camp on Oracle Park mound

Giants manager Gabe Kapler will get extremely creative with how he uses pitchers in the shortened 60-game 2020 MLB season. But just how far will he go?

Probably not this far.

Pablo Sandoval recently took the mound at Oracle Park, sporting a mask and wearing a first baseman's mitt. The buzzword of Giants Summer Camp is "versatility," and this certainly is next level.

It's also not the first time Sandoval has toed the rubber. 

The third baseman/first baseman/DH famously first stepped on the mound in San Francisco during the 2018 season. He pitched a perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning on April 28, 2018, in a 16-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sandoval also pitched a scoreless inning last season, on May 6, in a 12-4 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati. 

[RELATED: Posey's leadership will be missed but won't be forgotten]

Sandoval also underwent Tommy John surgery last season. The veteran slugger has been full-go ahead of the upcoming season, and should serve as a power bat off the bench while also earning spot starts here and there. 

"Let Pablo Pitch!" chants will ring out from afar with no fans in the stands. Don't hold your breath, but you never know in this already extremely odd baseball season.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]