The Giants would be wise to lock up their franchise player Buster Posey, the 2012 NL MVP who reports say is closing in on a longterm deal worth $100M or more.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s safe to say the San Francisco Giants don’t want Buster Posey to ever play for another team.
And they’re prepared to make sure he retires in the Bay Area.
A month after agreeing to raise his salary more than $7 million for one season and avoiding arbitration, reports Thursday had the franchise interested in pursuing a longterm deal with the former Lee County and Florida State baseball star.
A CBSSports.com report suggested that a 10-year contract might not be out of the question, while ESPN’s Buster Olney surmised that Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto’s 12-year deal could provide a road map for Posey’s future contract.
Later Thursday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal estimated that a seven-year, $120 million extension could be attractive to both sides.
Posey and the Giants are reportedly still quite a ways apart in terms of agreeing on the number of years and dollar amount, and Posey said during a recent spring training workout he’s in no hurry.
“I’m happy with what we reached the first (arbitration] year,’’ he told CBS. “I’m looking forward to the upcoming season. That’s really all there is to say about it.’’
Paying Posey, who is just 25 years old and arguably the best offensive player in the National League, what he’s worth will be hard to figure out.
On one hand, he’s led the franchise to two World Series titles in his first three seasons — the Giants’ first two since relocating from New York to California after the 1957 season, meaning they were 0-for-53 before he showed up — plus he was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 2010 and won the NL MVP and batting title this past season.
On the other hand, he’s a catcher — and really isn’t interested in changing positions — and the wear and tear a catcher endures during the course of a 162-game season makes it risky for the Giants to sign Posey for anything beyond 5-7 years, no matter how amazing his rise in the majors has been.
Posey batted .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBI last season and had the best second half of a season any star player has had in recent memory.
He led baseball post-All-Star break in batting average (.385), on-base percentage (.456) and OPS (1.102).
Posey, who was drafted No. 5 overall out of FSU in 2008 and given the biggest signing bonus in history (at that time) of $6.2 million, recently avoided arbitration with the Giants and was given a one-year raise from his $615,000 annual salary to $8 million.
But whether a deal gets done before the start of the season remains to be seen.
The Giants have a history of handling big deals in curious ways. They clearly made a good choice when they gave Posey’s teammate and San Francisco ace Matt Cain a six-year, $127.5 million deal last season, but before that there were several blunders, such as the $60 million they gave Aaron Rowand and the now-infamous $126M contract they doled out to inconsistent starter Barry Zito.
Posey, meanwhile, wants to be a lifetime Giant. He made that clear after signing his arbitration deal.
“I feel like I was very fortunate to be drafted into the Giants’ organization, just because we have ownership that wants to put the best team on the field,’’ Posey told CBS.
Herald sports editor Danny Aller, CBSsports.com and Reuters News Service contributed to this report