Buster Posey's new deal, which includes a no-trade clause, is the largest in history for a baseball player with three or fewer years in the major leagues and the second largest contract for a catcher.
SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey fought through a devastating, season-ending injury less than two years ago and returned to San Francisco to have an MVP season.
On Friday, the Leesburg native decided to stick around the Bay Area a little longer.
The Giants catcher and reigning National League MVP signed a landmark contract extension worth $167 million over the next nine years just days before the beginning of the 2013 season.
“I’m extremely excited and humbled to be a Giant for the next nine years,” Posey said in a text message to the Herald after the deal was announced. “Winning aside, I think the Giants organization has established a unique culture that I’m honored to be a part of.”
The deal, which includes a no-trade clause, is the largest guaranteed contract in history for a player with three or fewer years in the major leagues and the longest in Giants history.
The guaranteed money also is a record for a player with fewer than four years of service, topping Todd Helton’s $151 million deal with the Rockies.
“The success of our franchise depends on developing and retaining homegrown talent like Buster Posey,” Giants President Larry Baer told MLB.com.
Baer continued: “Buster’s work ethic, leadership skills and extraordinary talent represent all that is great about our game and what it means to be a San Francisco Giant. I want to commend (general manager) Brian Sabean, (vice president of baseball operations) Bobby Evans, Buster and his representatives for their hard work to keep Buster in a Giants uniform for an extended period of time. This is an exciting day for Giants fans everywhere and a fantastic way to kick off the 2013 season.”
The 26-year-old Posey, who also plays first base, signed a one-year, $8 million contract before the season. With the extension, he’ll now get a $7 million signing bonus, $10.5 million in 2014, $16.5 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016 and $21.4 million each year from 2017 to 2021.
The final year of the contract includes a $22 million salary or a $3 million buyout.
“This is a great day for Buster, for the Giants and for our fans everywhere,” Sabean said. “Buster is an integral part of the team and his leadership and ability to produce offensively and play solid defense behind the plate makes him one of the most valuable and exciting players in either league. I have no doubt Buster will achieve continued success for the Giants in the coming years and beyond.”
Posey joined Baer, Sabean and Giants manager Bruce Bochy at a press conference before Friday’s spring training game against Oakland and addressed the media about the historic deal.
“It’s hard to put into words what I feel right now,” Posey said. “It’s just an incredible feeling, knowing that for the next nine years I will be a part of this very storied franchise. I am incredibly humbled to know I will be a part of that. I think for me, what is so exciting about this is that in such a short period of time I have formed great relationships with a lot of people up here at this table.”
Posey spent the next few minutes thanking members of the Giants organization before turning to his wife, Kristen, who was in the crowd with their 1-year-old twins, Lee and Addison.
“I would like to finish with my family. A big part of who I am today is how I was raised, and I am very grateful for all my parents did growing up,” said Posey, whose parents, Demp and Traci, still live in Lee County. “With my wife, Kristen, and our two little ones who are pretty quiet right now, thank you for your support and allowing me to play this game that I love so much. I can’t thank you enough.”
Baer said the nine-year commitment didn’t scare anybody in the Giants front office.
“It wasn’t scary to us when you look at Buster the person,” Baer said. “I think that the biggest issue or consideration for us going into a commitment like this was who is the person you are committing to, and that became a very easy call on our part when we thought about Buster and what he will mean to the Giants going forward.”
The contract came one day after Posey went 1-for-3 against the Athletics in the opening game of the prominent Bay Bridge spring training series against the Oakland — the Giants first game this season at AT&T Park.
“This is truly one of the great days for Giants fans,” Baer said. “Our fans will be very privileged to watch Buster for the foreseeable future, and ideally Buster will be wearing a Giants uniform for the entirety of his career.”
Posey won the 2012 National League Most Valuable Player last year and the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2010. He also was instrumental in leading the Giants to two World Series titles in the last four years.
Returning from a severely broken ankle he suffered during the 2011 season, Posey won the NL batting title last season after hitting .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBI.
“We’re extremely pleased to reach an agreement that keeps Buster in a Giants uniform for a long time,” Posey’s agent, Jeff Berry, said. “Buster and the Giants have brought each other mutual success, and this contract reflects Buster’s extraordinary accomplishments in just three years in the Major Leagues.”
Posey and the Giants open the 2013 season Monday against the Dodgers, and Posey will be behind the plate to catch starter Matt Cain — the same combination that gave San Francisco its first perfect game in franchise history last season.