SF Giants trade proposal: Buster Posey to Tampa Bay Rays
In reality, no club would likely want or take Posey with over $44 million owed to him through the end of next season — with $22 million 2022 team option — as his power numbers continue to decline.
But for the sake of being complete, a search was done to find a trade partner for the Giants and a deal that would suit Posey. There is a very likely candidate in the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays already have a set starting lineup and are built for another postseason run, but they have one gaping hole at catcher. Mike Zunino struggled through 2019 with a .165/.232/.312 slash line but seemed to be in line for the starting gig through Spring Training, Michael Perez logged just 135 plate appearances over his first two MLB seasons, and career backup man Chris Herrmann was leading the pack through Spring Training a .389 batting average despite being a career .202 hitter.
There is room for improvement there, and Posey would be an instant boost to a contender for the AL East title. A deal along these lines could benefit both clubs:
Being the best overall catcher in the MLB, Posey would require a high price tag, and the Giants could make a play for the Rays’ top prospect in 19-year-old Wander Franco. Though the franchise’s prized international signing in 2017-18 and proving to be one of the best pure hitters in the minors, the Rays also have two other middle infielders in their top five prospects according to MLB.com in Vidal Brujan and Xavier Edwards.
Willy Adames is set to be their starting shortstop and is not a free agent until 2025. Assuming he continues to produce as he did last season — batting .254 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI — he will likely keep the job through his rookie contract. Brandon Lowe signed a six-year, $24 million contract entering 2019 that is back-loaded, but his 17 home runs on a .270 batting average in just 327 plate appearances will make him a keeper at the spot for some time as well.
The team can part with one of the three prospects while they reap the benefits of Adames and Lowe for years to come.
It would undoubtedly be a heartbreaking deal for many, but landing the young Franco would be the equivalent to preparing the Giants for another generational star like Posey was for the 2010s.