BREAKING NEWS: Sources tell The Athletic that Buster Posey will announce his retirement tomorrow. More to come…
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 3, 2021
Posey is one of the best catchers the game has ever seen, and he’s coming off of a 2021 season in which he posted some absurd numbers.
Perhaps that’s why the news is so surprising — Posey was still an elite player in 2021.
He batted .304 with an OPS of .889 and OPS+ of 140.
But after 12 MLB seasons taking a beating behind the dish, it’s clear that he feels it’s the right time.
For the Giants, they’re going to have to find a way forward without the future Hall of Famer.
The organization has a highly-touted catching prospect in Joey Bart, but some folks believe he isn’t MLB-ready yet.
If the team decides to hunt for Posey’s replacement in free agency, here are some possible targets.
3. Stephen Vogt
Replacing Posey’s offensive production is going to be hard, if not impossible.
You’ll likely notice a trend amongst all of the catchers on this list — none are elite offensive players.
That’s par for the course with most catchers.
Stephen Vogt finished the 2021 season with a .616 OPS and 65 OPS+.
Those are pretty underwhelming marks.
On the bright side, he had a positive defensive bWAR.
If can make up for his lackluster offensive by adding value behind the plate, maybe he’s worth taking a chance on.
2. Manny Pina
Manny Pina is one of the better offensive catchers available this offseason.
In the 2021 season, he posted a .739 OPS and 94 OPS+ despite a very low batting average of .189.
Pina has an OPS+ of 91 over his last six seasons, and that’s pretty serviceable for a catcher.
MANNY PIÑA AGAIN!!
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 19, 2021
Defensively, he racked up 3 Runs Extra Strikes (a stat that measures a catcher’s ability to frame pitches) in 2021.
He finished 14th in all of baseball in that department out of 59 catchers.
The 34-year-old also finished the season with a 1.3 WAR.
He’s pretty consistent on a year-to-year basis, so that might be appealing for a team like the Giants.
1. Yan Gomes
Yam Gomes is actually capable of making a positive impact on both sides of the ball.
Since 2018, he has a .737 OPS and 96 OPS+.
He’s a pretty solid power hitter, as he smoked 14 home runs, 15 doubles, and one triple over 103 games in 2021.
Moreover, behind the plate, he has finished every season of his MLB career (aside from his rookie campaign) with a positive defensive bWAR.
In fact, for his career, he averages a defensive bWAR of about 2.0 per 162 games, which is very good.
San Francisco should consider taking advantage of the fact that Gomes is available this offseason.
Bart might be the long-term plan for the Giants behind the dish, but it might be wise of the organization to bridge the gap from Posey to Bart by adding a solid veteran like Gomes.
With free agency starting in just a few days, we probably won’t have to wait very long until some rumors start to surface.
It’s an exciting time for fans of chaos.