After a year off, Giants icon Buster Posey will return as their “primary catcher” in 2021, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters (including John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle) on Tuesday. Posey opted out of last season over family health concerns (he and his wife had just adopted twin girls who were born prematurely), and he discussed his decision this week with Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. The 33-year-old told Baggarly he’s “comfortable” with the choice he made because of the unknowns at the time, including whether Major League Baseball would even be able to get through its season. Posey added that he’s “confident” he’ll play next year, which will be the last guaranteed season of his contract. The Giants may have an heir apparent in Joey Bart, but he and the rest of their catchers had rocky seasons in 2020. It now appears they’ll take a backseat to Posey for at least one more year.
- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday he was unaware of any extension talks between the team and ace Max Scherzer. It appears those could get underway soon, though. Agent Scott Boras said he’ll get together with Nationals owner Ted Lerner after the new year, and “we’ll see how that goes” (via Todd Dybas of NBC Sports Washington). That doesn’t necessarily mean the two sides will just discuss Scherzer – Boras does represent other Nats, not to mention current free agents – but the three-time Cy Young winner does seem likely to be a key part of the discussion. Scherzer’s entering the last season of the seven-year, $210MM he signed with the Nationals in 2015.
- The Reds are among the teams interested in free-agent reliever Ryne Stanek, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports. The 29-year-old right-hander spent last season in Miami, where he yielded eight earned runs on 11 hits (including three homers) and eight walks in just 10 innings. The Marlins non-tendered the hard-throwing Stanek after that ghastly showing. To Stanek’s credit, he isn’t far removed from a strong run from 2018-19 as a Ray and Marlin. He frequently worked as an opener then and combined for a 3.52 ERA/3.94 FIP with 10.67 K/9 against 4.14 BB/9 across 143 1/3 innings. Stanek will have another two years of arbitration eligibility left after 2021, so he could be a multiyear piece for the Reds or someone else if he bounces back.