SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Giants and Buster Posey have exchanged preliminary ideas about a multiyear contract that would buy out the NL MVP’s three remaining arbitration years.
But talks remain in the conceptual stage, and neither side is viewing Opening Day as a deadline.
“Our view of Buster is that he’ll be reasonable,” Giants CEO Larry Baer told me. “We’ve thrown some things out. They’ve thrown some things out. It’s going to be more evolved over time. It’s not a 'check back in two weeks, we may have something' kind of thing.”
Posey will make $8 million this season after he and the Giants agreed to a 2013 contract before exchanging arbitration figures. It’s a huge jump from the $650,000 he made last season -- his final year before becoming a “super-two” player eligible for arbitration.
Baer termed an extension with Posey as “a matter of importance” but perhaps not as urgent as last spring’s negotiations with Matt Cain, who would’ve become a free agent if he hadn’t signed a five-year, $112 million extension.
“Buster knows he’s going to be a Giant for the next four years, at least,” Baer said of Posey, who would be eligible for free agency after the 2016 season. “There isn’t that kick of, 'Come October, I might be changing uniforms.' He’s not changing uniforms.”
There’s goodwill between Posey and the Giants, who never had to renew their All-Star catcher’s contract in previous years –- as the Angels just did when unilaterally imposing a salary with AL MVP runner-up Mike Trout that gave him just $510,000, or $20,000 over the major league minimum
The Giants also have a good relationship with Posey’s lead agent, Jeff Berry, who also led Cain’s negotiating team.
Most of all, Baer lauded Posey’s even temperament and scholarly approach to negotiations.
“Anybody who can effectively handle the range of personalities of our 12 starting pitchers can handle the beginning of long-term discussions,” Baer said. “He brings a huge intelligence and a huge maturity. He’s one of the most thoughtful and deliberate people I’ve come across in baseball. He’s just business oriented.”
Signing Posey to a multiyear deal would provide cost certainty for the Giants to make it easier to budget in future seasons. And it would provide added security for Posey, who already has a good chunk in the bank after receiving a $6 million draft bonus in 2008.
Posey can make a pile in endorsements, too. Although he’s likely to view most of the offers as more a burden than an opportunity, Baer said he expects Posey to branch out as his stardom continues to grow.
“He’s not going to slice himself too thin,” Baer said. “He’s not built that way. I think you’ll see him only say yes to things that he can do well, and that won’t be a distraction. As people continue to see who he is, he’ll have demands, for sure. I’m convinced he can manage those demands.”
The Giants are done with contract negotiations with all their pre-arbitration players. Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Hector Sanchez and others all agreed to terms on deals for 2013 almost three weeks ago. The Giants didn’t have to renew any of them.