Giants’ Buster Posey Opts Out of 2020 Season

Photo: Santiago Mejia / The San Francisco Chronicle

Giants’ Buster Posey Opts Out of 2020 Season

Cites Concern Over Health of Newly-Adopted Twins

According to The Associated Press, San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey decided to opt out of the 2020 season Friday out of health concerns for his newly adopted twin baby girls during the coronavirus pandemic.

The babies were born about eight weeks prematurely last Friday and Posey and his wife, Kristen, finalized the adoption on Thursday.  The babies are healthy but will need to spend time in neonatal intensive care and will have weakened immune systems for the next few months.

“In the current state that we are right now and these babies being as fragile as they are for the next four months, at minimum, this ultimately wasn’t that difficult a decision for me,” Posey said. “From a baseball standpoint, it was a tough decision. From a family standpoint and feeling like I’m making a decision to protect our children, I think it was relatively easy.”

Posey is one of the most prominent players to opt out of the season as a six-time All-Star, the 2012 NL MVP and a three-time World Series champion.

He joined other notable players like Dodgers pitcher David Price, Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Colorado’s Ian Desmond and Arizona pitcher Mike Leake in deciding not to take part in the 60-game season that starts on July 23.

Posey said he and his wife have been trying to adopt children over the past few years without success. In one case, they even had a baby for a few days only to have the birth parents change their mind after.

“If these babies hadn’t been born right now and weren’t premature, I probably would be playing,” Posey said. “I do think it’s very much an individual decision because we’re all trying to decipher information that’s changing rapidly.”

Posey said he, Kristen, and 8-year-old twins Lee and Addie were “overwhelmed with joy” over the latest additions to their family.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler both said they support their star player’s decision and wished Posey’s family the best.

“This is not a difficult one,” Kapler said. “I think that a lot of people around baseball will say family first. I think it’s important that we that we actually put that into action by throwing all of our support in making these decisions even easier for players because they know that they have to support the leadership in the organization.”

Posey was set to make about $8 million in salary this season, which the Giants are not obligated to pay under terms of an agreement between the league and the players’ union.

Posey’s absence leaves a big void in the Giants lineup as the team was counting on a bounce-back year after he was slowed by hip problems the past two seasons

The 33-year-old Posey was the healthiest he had been in years in the spring, hitting .455 in exhibition games this year before spring training was halted March 12 because of the virus outbreak.

Posey had undergone season-ending surgery on his right hip in August 2018 and said he still had discomfort running and making even the smallest of movements last season.

He batted a career-low .257 last season and has just 12 homers in 803 at-bats the last two years combined.

With Posey out for the season, that could open up an opportunity for heralded prospect Joey Bart, the team’s first-round pick in 2018.

Major League Baseball is scheduled to start the season with July 23. There were two games set for opening day, including the Giants taking on Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium.