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San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey plans to retire Thursday

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San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey will announce his retirement from baseball on Thursday, according to a report from The Athletic on Wednesday.

Posey, 34, has played his entire 12-year career in San Francisco, helping the team win three World Series titles, in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He is the only player still on the Giants who played on all three title-winning teams.

The Giants said last month that they would exercise Posey’s $22 million club option for the 2022 season as long as the veteran catcher wanted to keep playing after a stellar year.

Posey hinted during the playoffs he might be done, saying he was ready to embrace more family time with four young children at home.

“I’m definitely just going to take some time with my wife, talk with her, be able to be a full-time dad of four kids for the first time in a while,” Posey said. “Yeah, just kind of take it slow and see how things progress.”

Posey opted out of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign to help care for prematurely born adopted twin girls. He and his wife, Kristen, also have twins Lee and Addison, who just turned 10.

Posey, whose contract includes a $3 million buyout, helped lead the Giants to a franchise-record 107 wins and their first National League West title since 2012 by playing regularly down the stretch as he demonstrated his health and durability.

He batted .304 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs, showing his surgically repaired right hip had finally regained full strength three years after the operation. Posey would be one of six players in the divisional era to hit .300 or better in his final MLB season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

The 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, Posey came back from a devastating season-ending leg injury in 2011 to win NL MVP the following year.

He tore three ligaments in his left ankle and broke a bone in the lower leg when he was run over by the Marlins’ Scott Cousins on May 25, 2011. Posey responded by winning the 2012 batting crown and MVP honors while leading the Giants to a second World Series championship in a three-year span.

Posey advocated for rules to better protect against home-plate collisions to avoid injuries for both catchers and baserunners alike.

“I try to keep myself out of the conversation as much as I can because I know people are going to connect me to it regardless,” Posey said in January 2014. “I’m just kind of sitting back and letting the higher powers hammer it out. I have my thoughts but I’ll keep them to myself.”

Posey was selected by the Giants fifth overall in the first round of the 2008 draft out of Florida State, where in May 2008 he played all nine fielding positions in the same game.

“Buster Posey hangs ’em up. What an incredible career for a lifelong Giant,” former Oakland Athletics left-hander Dallas Braden wrote on Twitter. “The statue is already being built.”

Posey is a lifetime .302 hitter, making him one of six catchers in major league history to start 1,000 games at catcher and have a lifetime batting average of .300 or greater (pending inclusion of Negro League statistics).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly bringing back Yoshi Tsutsugo on 1-year deal

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PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates are bringing back first baseman/outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo on a one-year deal, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The deal is pending a physical.

Tsutsugo, 29, joined the Pirates in August after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played well over the final six weeks of the season, hitting .268 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 43 games while splitting time between first base, left field and right field.

Pittsburgh has a pressing need for a right fielder heading into 2022, though Tsutsugo is limited defensively and had trouble at times adjusting to the 21-foot high Clemente Wall at PNC Park.

Still, the left-handed power he flashed during 144 plate appearances would be welcome over a full 162-game slate for a team that finished last in the majors in home runs by a wide margin.

The well-traveled Tsutsugo was a star in his native Japan, where he hit 205 home runs over the course of a decade before signing with Tampa Bay in December 2019. He hit just .217 over parts of two seasons with the Rays before being traded to the Dodgers in May.

Tsutsugo played 12 games for Los Angeles and was released in August after batting .120. The Pirates, who are in the midst of a top-to-bottom rebuild, scooped him up, and he made an immediate impact. Tsutsugo doubled in his first at-bat with Pittsburgh, collected at least one hit in four of his first five games and proved capable of handling first base.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported the agreement Wednesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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With attack on Matz’s agent, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen keeps getting in his own way

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It must’ve felt good for Mets owner Steve Cohen to punch send on his angry tweet Wednesday morning, his vitriol and endorphins and frustration released by directing his social media ire (and his more-than-200,000 followers) toward little-known agent Rob Martin. Cohen referred to Martin’s actions in the Steven Matz negotiation as “unprofessional” and all but called him a liar.

What Cohen doesn’t seem to understand, or care to acknowledge, is that every time he publicly gripes about agents, his offense, or the fans, he is denting the franchise that cost him $2.475 billion. Tweet by tweet, he is feeding the perception among rival executives and agents, and, most importantly, among players, that the Mets have somehow become more dysfunctional under Cohen than they were under the Wilpon family, the previous ownership group — and that is an extraordinarily high bar. He is feeding the perception that the Mets are evolving into their own Big Apple Circus, with the owner looming as a threat to attack everything from agents to slumping hitters.

With each social media post, Cohen probably makes it a little more difficult for the franchise to realize his stated goal of winning the World Series in the next two to four years. In a sport in which players must be courted, and building organizational success and an enduring major league roster can take years, perception does matter. When you talk with rival officials — including some who’ve had opportunities to talk to the Mets about employment — the simple truth is that Cohen’s ownership habits are viewed as an unwanted wild card.



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Kansas City Royals reliever Wade Davis announces retirement

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Reliever Wade Davis, a three-time All-Star selection who has 141 saves in 12 major league seasons, is retiring, the Kansas City Royals announced Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Davis, who led the National League with 43 saves in 2018, clinched the World Series title for the Royals in 2015 with a game-ending strikeout against the New York Mets.

The Royals acquired Davis from Tampa Bay in December 2012, converted him to a full-time reliever in 2013 — he had 47 saves over four seasons with Kansas City — and then traded him to the Chicago Cubs after the 2016 season.

He spent one season in Chicago, completing a four-year, $12.6 million contract with three options that wound up totaling $35.1 million in salary. He then signed a three-year, $52 million contract with the Colorado Rockies.

Davis returned to the Royals in 2021, going 0-3 with 2 saves in 40 appearances.

In 557 career games, including 88 starts, Davis had a 3.94 ERA with 929 strikeouts.



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