There's a good chance Buster Posey goes to Triple A Fresno soon – at least for now. But the 23-year-old catcher is one of the best prospects in the game, so the Giants figure to call on him at some point, even if he doesn't make the team. That would be determined, in part, by Posey's play in the minors, but performance wouldn't be the only consideration for the Giants.
If they keep Posey, who has 33 days of major league service time, in Fresno until May 20th or later, he can pick up a maximum of 136 days of service time this year. That would keep his service time total under the 172 threshold days players need for a full season. This means the Giants can call on Posey in late May and be confident that he won't have 172 days after the season. That would postpone his free agency until after the 2016 season. Bottom line: the Giants can delay Posey's free agency by a year if they call him up in late May.
If the Giants are happy with Bengie Molina's production at the end of May, they could keep Posey in the minors for another month and prevent him from becoming a Super Two player. If the Giants call on Posey at the beginning of July, he won't have 130 days of service time at the end of the season. Bottom line: the Giants can save themselves money in arbitration if they call Posey up at the beginning of July.
This isn't to say that the Giants will make roster any decisions based on Posey's service time clock, but the options above figure to be a consideration for the team, as they would be for most clubs in this situation.
I absolutely believe that the Giants could make roster decisions based on his service time if they have the luxury of doing so. They got burned by calling up Lincecum early – or that’s how many would frame it, anyway – and there’s a lot of awareness of this issue as a result. With so much money locked up in pitching and Aaron Rowand through 2012, the service time of a player like Posey could be a big issue for them once they start paying more for Johnathan Sanchez and Sandoval, and possibly Madison Bumgarner as well, so I would not be surprised to see them hold him back until June/July.
On the other hand, the fans have a lot of awareness of this issue as well, and if the Giants, particularly Bengie and Whiteside, aren’t hitting, we could be hearing a lot of teeth-gnashing over it until he finally gets the call.
I agree that the Giants may keep him in the Minors until mid June or so. They have a lot of young players who will all start getting expensive soon, and they have to work around the two ugly contracts of Zito and Rowand. If they can push back Posey’s service time to save some money then why not. That being said I’m excited to see Posey in the Bigs, whenever it is he does finally get called up.
You’re dead on about Lincecum, which should prove as a cautionary tale for the Giants. What did Lincecum help the team do? Did they win anything in 2007?
However, I must disagree with you to a degree about Molina/Whiteside. The fact is, they probably won’t hit. But I don’t see Posey as an offensive panacea.
They didn’t win anything in 2007, but it did prime him for success down the road. If he doesn’t get innings in the majors in 2007, then he doesn’t win the back to back Cys. And what do those add up to? Ticket sales. Probably not $13 million in ticket sales, but you have to build a brand somehow if the franchise isn’t grabbing playoff berths.
Whiteside probably won’t hit, but Molina looks good this spring. He’s in a more appropriate spot in the lineup, and he’s actually drawn some walks. There’s not much reason to expect that his offense will be much lower than his usual April/May numbers. He’ll be at his sharpest, and as the season wears on and he is more beaten up and needs more rest, Posey can come in and supplement; he may or may not be a marked improvement over Molina, but there’s no question that he’s an offensive upgrade over Whiteside.
To get back to Lincecum, they didn’t win in 2008 or 2009. Your point about building a brand is well taken, but it also must be remembered that Lincecum only pitches every 5th day. If Lincecum is in year one of arbitration, payroll is a different story in SF. As you noted, Lincecum does not create $13mm in ticket sales and the Giants still have a $20mm a year mortgage on Mays Field (always hated that name, think it should be Clark Field, but it’s better than ATT SBC XYZ).
they “won’t hit”? like you know what’s going to happen. molina has hit very well actually for the giants. so why do your say he wont hit?
There’s about eleventy billion reasons I can give you as to why “they won’t hit”. You say it as if I insulted your girlfriend (ugly? ugly? you calling my lady ugly?).
Part of the joy of this site is for us to make predictions. That’s what comments to blogs are, the opinions of those who read the blogs. If we wanted a medium where we could not participate we would read books. So that’s why I, and most others who post ‘say things like they know they’re going to happen’. Look if Molina hits, I’ll be pumped, jacked, psyched, happy.
Here’s Molina’s line last year: .265/.285/.442. He grounded in 14 double plays. I understand that he may call a good game, and that’s important for a catcher, but it’s not hitting. The entire point of baseball, the fundamental element, is to not make outs. He got on base 28.5% of his at bats. That’s not good.
Whiteside was worse: .228/.269/.339. I don’t think I need to say anymore about Eli.
They are one year older, Molina’s 2008 was better than his 2009 so his 2010 very well may be worse than his 2009.
So in conclusion, they won’t hit.
“The entire point of baseball, the fundamental element, is to not make outs. He got on base 28.5% of his at bats. That’s not good.”
– Will_Clarks_Gouchos on Ben Molina.
This is a quotable. And so true about not making outs, unless you happen to be a pitcher.
If they hadn’t signed Bengie I’d say call him up…but since we have Bengie, I’m ok with Buster starting in AAA learning from Steve Decker.
You have a good point there. Steve Decker is a total stud, and will be another good mentor for Posey. Did you read the interview with him (I think through Baggarly) a few weeks back?
I didn’t read the interview, but I think they are grooming Decker to be the next manager. He cruised through San Jose to Connecticut and now Fresno…Next stop San Francisco!!
Found it! Here:
And supplement on Baggarly’s blog here:
“And when the Dodgers came to Scottsdale Stadium last week, Decker used it as another teachable moment.
“I was telling the guys, ‘Hey, that’s the team we hate,’ ” Decker said. “That blue? I hate that blue. We’ve gotta create that edge against the other team.”
Definitely my favorite excerpt from the interview.
Jealous much? 🙂
According to Jim Cable…WE will win the W.S.!!!
YEAH BABY!!! LOL
I really do hope they address this Super 2 service time crap in the next CBA. Let the kids who deserve to be in the bigs play already.
Listen fellas, this is a win win situation for the Giants and Posey. Obviously we want to see him on Opening Day. The thing is, it’s a win win because if he goes to Fresno, he gets more seasoning. If he goes to Fresno, the service time is a factor. So it’s just going to all work out.
I can’t believe it. I actually agree with you.
That being said, if the Giants call him up early, I’ll be disappointed. The Giants have Benji on a one year deal, so let him play it out, get Posey some time in AAA and have him ready for next year. He said himself that he was fatigued at the end of last season after playing a full year of pro ball. The Giants have to be cost conscious because of the Lincecum situation and the necessity for another bat once Huff falls flat on his face.
There’s also a possibility of trading Bengie at the deadline to a contender and bringing up Posey.
And I’m good with that. The deadline is the 31st (obviously) so Posey would not be a Super-2
I think I would disagree with you about the Giants getting burned by calling up Lincecum early