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Kuiper on Buster Posey’s uncertain Giants future: Is next season his last?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Amid all the roster moves that are shaking out around the Giants — 5 p.m. Wednesday is the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players — there is a much larger decision looming a year from now.

Will 2021 be Buster Posey’s final season as a Giant? And if it is, will it be his final season as a major leaguer?

The three-time World Series champ, six-time All-Star and debatable Hall of Famer is entering the final guaranteed season of the nine-year contract he signed in 2013. The Giants will have a $22 million decision to make, which would be his salary for 2022 if the club picks it up. If they buy him out, they’d owe him $3 million.

The decision largely will hinge on how a superstar who had been fading before opting out of the 2020 season rebounds. He’s another year removed from hip surgery and looked, in the very small sample size of February and March spring training, like as big of a candidate for a bounce-back season as the Giants had, before Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford emerged as once again weapons for the club.

“He looked so good in spring,” Duane Kuiper said on “Murph & Mac” on Wednesday about the 33-year-old catcher. “It’s going to help any catcher that’s got nine or 10 years behind the plate — sitting out a year is not a bad thing for you physically. I don’t know what ’21’s going to look like, but I will look forward to seeing him, that’s for sure.”

Will Posey be the next success story of Donnie Ecker, Justin Viele and Dustin Lind? If not, could Joey Bart break through and spell the end of Posey’s reign as San Francisco Giants captain?

Posey is not the type to stick around and pad stats for Cooperstown reasons, especially with newly adopted twin babies to care for. If the Giants don’t end up retaining Posey after next season, Kuiper thinks that could be it for the 11-year Giant.

“I don’t see Buster playing for another organization. If the Giants decide that that’s it for him, then I think that he’ll probably retire. Unless he’s rejuvenated after sitting out a year,” Kuiper said on KNBR.

“But he’s told us that he doesn’t want to wear another uniform. He does not want to do that. That’s great because I don’t want to see him in another uniform.

“I’m tired of seeing these guys in other uniforms, like Madison Bumgarner facing the Giants. How did that happen?”


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