He's only 25, but Buster Posey has accomplished a great deal in his MLB career. His list of achievements includes being named the NL Rookie of the Year in 2010, winning an MVP award in 2012, and a couple of World Series titles with the San Francisco Giants. Not bad.
The fact that Posey has accomplished so much in such a short time has already ignited some talk about a potential extension for the Giants' backstop. Given what we've seen from him so far, that type of talk could obviously be warranted. But is it too soon to start talking extension?
With their roster almost virtually set for the 2013 season, that is the debate that fans and writers, both inside and out of San Francisco, find themselves in. Do the Giants get an early jump on it and sign Posey to an extension, or wait until it gets closer to free agency before throwing big money at their star catcher?
It's important to note that Posey is not a free agent until 2017. He's under team control for the next five years. Arbitration will likely see a raise for him in each of those seasons, but he'll at least be playing his home games in the Bay Area.
Posey only has two full seasons to his credit at this point. In each of those seasons, the Giants took home a World Series title. Coincidence? Considering Posey took home some hardware in each of them, not likely. The other season (2011) was the injury-shortened season after Scott Cousins infamously pummeled Posey at home.
It's not the largest sample space in the world, but we already know Posey is the real deal. He's a .314 hitter for his career, boasts a .380 on-base percentage, and adds a bit of power to the mix, with 46 career home runs in 308 games. He's obviously a star for this team and quickly becoming one of the biggest names in Major League Baseball.
As a Super Two, Posey is already eligible for arbitration this offseason. Which means that from now until he becomes a free agent, the Giants and Posey will be negotiating a new contract, and very likely a raise. That's the main case in favor of an extension for Posey.
Those who are on the side of waiting for such a deal cite his limited time in the majors and health, despite playing in 148 games in 2012, as their reasons for holding off. One of those theories holds up much better than the other: extend him now.
You're looking at a kid who is going to be a perennial All Star and will make a run at the batting title annually, all while playing a premium position behind the plate. Even when he's not catching, he's proven that he can hold his own at first as well. Buy out those arbitration years now and get him locked up, before it gets even more expensive.
As for what it would cost, that's where things get a little more complicated. Something in the six or seven-year range would make sense, as it would likely take Posey to the end of his prime, where the Giants could re-evaluate and determine whether or not to re-invest in him and make him a Giant for life. The dollars in six or seven years would probably max out around $10 million, perhaps just a little more.
Regardless of the way the numbers work out, the timing could be right for an extension for Buster Posey. Lock him up, save the money now, before he really starts to put a dent in the finances in his remaining arbitration years.