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What Buster Posey will do as the Giants’ newest part owner

What Buster Posey will do as the Giants’ newest part owner

Buster Posey put on a San Francisco Giants cap for all 12 of his seasons in the major leagues. Not a year after his retirement, he’s putting on a new hat with the Giants.

Posey, 35, became a minority owner with the Giants on Wednesday, joining the ownership group with an exclusive seat on the executive board. In fact, ownership expanded the board from five to six members in order to include Posey at the table.

One of the most popular and accomplished Giants in the team’s history, Posey will become the first player in franchise history to be a principal partner. He’s one of only a handful of former MLB players in modern baseball to get involved in ownership, following Derek Jeter’s purchase in 2017 (and subsequent divestment in 2022) of the Miami Marlins and Nolan Ryan’s ownership of the Texas Rangers in 2010. Posey is the youngest of the Giants’ 31 stakeholders.

“I’m excited to provide my insight,” Posey said Wednesday. “Being a player for the San Francisco Giants, I understand there’s expectations, and that’s great. I think we welcome those expectations, but the goal within an organization is to get your foot in the door in October and have a chance to win a World Series, and that’s going to remain the same going forward.”

Posey declined to say how much ownership stake he purchased, but even in a smaller role, deferring to majority owner Charles Johnson and his son, chairman Greg Johnson, Posey sees himself wearing a few hats. He will not be involved in baseball operations, but can act as a free agent recruiter, a sounding board involved in budget and decision-making meetings, and as one of few former player-owners, begin to build a bridge between the league’s players and owners constantly at odds.

The focus, first, will be on the on-field product. He’s re-joining the organization at the start of a crucial offseason for the Giants as they hope to refurbish a mediocre and disappointing roster. As for the 2023 budget, Greg Johnson said Wednesday the Giants “don’t have a fixed number yet,” but have “a lot of flexibility coming into this offseason.”

“We’re well aware of the shortstops and the person that can hit in the Bronx that’s out there,” Johnson said, alluding to Yankees superstar Aaron Judge and likely free agent shortstops Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts. “Farhan (Zaidi) ultimately will come with his suggested number. We haven’t done that yet but we’re certainly looking at that now and we’re aware we have some gaps we need to address.”

Posey sat in on some of those recruitment meetings during his playing days. He tried (unsuccessfully) to sell Jon Lester, Bryce Harper and Shohei Ohtani on the Giants.

“My recruiting record is not very good,” Posey said. “There’s time to improve upon that. I think my role will be to be helpful where I can be helpful. If that takes time to get to know a prospective free agent I’m happy to do that.”

As a homegrown superstar himself, Posey will also focus his attention on the team’s disappointing minor league crop that’s lacking in exciting prospects.

“Something we discussed internally is, I’m not sure there’s a way to motivate a group of young players to take the reigns and be the next group and lead the San Francisco Giants to win a World Series title,” Posey said. “Not telling you anything there, but you look at our run and it was led largely by homegrown talent. Obviously, you can supplement and add pieces to the homegrown talent, but the hope and dream is there are a handful of guys in the system who want to come up and understand the opportunity they have to be the next group of players the city of San Francisco and fan base gets to attach themselves to for the next 10-15 years.”

In the long term, perhaps Posey’s ownership role can blaze a trail for an improved relationship between the players’ union and team owners — a rift that only grew during contentious CBA negotiations that delayed the start of spring training by a few weeks.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that it will influence the way I see things,” Posey said. “I think Greg would agree, that’s a positive. Even if there are some disagreements we see on certain things, that will move the needle on certain things being in agreement.

I’m excited to see it from a different angle, but at the same time, the way I care about the game as a player and the way I care about the game as a post-player is still the same. I want to see the game thrive. I want to see fans showing up and having a great time. Just like I did as a player in that respect. There’s always going to be some amount of discord between ownership and players, that’s inevitable when you’re trying to extract value one way or the other. But I think what I’m hopeful for is some of the petty vitriol can be lessened a little bit.”

Added Johnson: “The more we can get players as part of the groups and involved in the decision making the better baseball will be. One of the things I was shocked when I first came into this role is how broken the trust is between player and ownership groups and it’s an outcome of the structure of baseball, unfortunately, but we don’t do any good solving problems publicly in the press.”

Posey didn’t even consider becoming an owner until the weeks after his retirement. He talked with CEO Larry Baer and Johnson about the prospect, and the wheels started moving fast. Posey bought in with his own money — he earned Posey earned $153.9 million in his playing career, per SpoTrac.com and had significant equity in the sports drink company BodyArmor.

Asked about working with Charles Johnson, who has received criticism for his political donations, Posey said: “My interactions with Mr. Johnson have been great. I have only been around him a couple of times. They’ve been wonderful. That’s all I’m going to say about it. I can only speak to my own interactions.”

Though Posey will be pretty involved with the team, don’t expect him to be around Oracle Park much. The Posey family, including his four children, moved back to his and his wife, Kristen’s home state of Georgia. But Posey said he will be in San Francisco a little more.


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