Posey honored with Hank Aaron Award

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Posey honored with Hank Aaron Award

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DETROIT Last year, Buster Posey was on the shelf. This year, his shelf is getting awfully crowded.

It will be 20 more days until the NL Most Valuable Player Award is announced, for which Posey is considered a heavy favorite. But the Giants cleanup-hitting catcher took home one heck of a satisfying appetizer on Saturday, when he was named the recipient of the Hank Aaron Award in recognition of being the most outstanding offensive performer in the National League.

Detroits Miguel Cabrera, who became the first player to win the triple crown since 1967, received the AL award.

Posey received the award just 17 months after a home-plate collision ripped three ankle ligaments, fractured a bone in his leg and ended his season.

What an honor for Buster, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. This guy has amazed me with everything weve thrown at him. To come back and get this award tells you how talented and what a special player he is.

And hes so humble. He doesnt like to talk about himself. Hes one of the best players in the game. And being from Georgia, Im sure its going to mean a lot to have his name mentioned with Hank Aaron.

Posey won the NL batting title with a major league-best .336 average while also becoming the first Giant to drive in 100 runs since Barry Bonds in 2004. His 24 home runs was just tied for 22nd among NL hitters, but his .408 on-base percentage ranked second behind the Reds Joey Votto and his .957 OPS was second to the Brewers Ryan Braun.

Its possible that Brauns positive drug test from last season might have impacted the final vote, which is comprised of a special panel of Hall of Famers personally selected by Aaron. Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan and Robin Yount were voting members of the panel this year.

Giants special assistant Felipe Alou, who played with Aaron, was elated to learn that Posey became the clubs first recipient of the award since Barry Bonds. Bonds won in 2001, 02 and 04.

Alou reminded that Aaron finished with a .305 career average.

What is an outstanding hitter? Is it a lot of home runs and RBIs? Or is it a batting champion? Alou said. A lot of people remember Hank Aaron for hitting all those home runs, but I know because I played with him what a great hitter he was. He hit doubles. He went to the opposite field. That is Posey right there, too.

I believe he most deserves this award because he is that kind of hitter. I dont know if hell hit 800 home runs, but the kind of year he had after that injury is amazing to me. Im proud of him.

I have told many people that we didnt win last year because Posey got hurt. We missed that Hank Aaron-type of hitter. Its good to have him back.

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

After five seasons with the Giants, outfielder Gregor Blanco has a new home.

The veteran outfielder has agreed to a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to his agent Wilfredo Polidor.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

The deal includes a $1 million base salary if Blanco makes the major league roster, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo. Blanco has a chance to earn an addition $2.7 million in performance-based incentives and has an opt-out of April 1 in the deal.

Shortly after Polidor made the announcement, Blanco thanked the D'backs on Twitter for the bringing him to the organization.

"Thanks to the @Dbacks for let me part of a dream the same dream I got another ring another championship let's all dream together we can doit," Blanco wrote.

Blanco bounced around from Braves to the Royals from 2008 to 2010, but found a home with the Giants prior to the 2012 season.

Over five seasons with the Giants, Blanco appeared in 649 games. He hit .259/.338/.360 with 244 runs scored, 78 doubles, 24 triples, 19 home runs, 157 RBI and 75 stolen bases.

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Barack Obama pardoned Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey on Tuesday.

McCovey, along with Dodgers Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in July of 1995. The crime came from not reporting income McCovey earned from signing autographs and appearing at sports memorabilia shows. 

McCovey previously pleaded guilty to not listing $70,000 he made from 1988-90, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Through the Giants, McCovey said: "I want to express my sincere gratitude to President Obama not only for this kind gesture on my behalf, but also for his tireless service to all Americans. He will be deeply missed and I wish him all the best in the future."

The 79-year-old McCovey was one of 64 people who received pardons from President Obama Tuesday as his final days in office wind down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.