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Buster Posey to make $575K this year

Mar 8, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 4 Getty Images

Buster Posey has less than a year’s worth of service time, so he has zero leverage. If the Giants wanted to, then, they could pay him $417, 000 which is the MLB minimum.  His Rookie of the Year season has earned him a slight bump, however, as the Giants have decided to give him $575,000 according to Hank Schulman of the Chronicle.

That’s just how things work for a guy who hasn’t reached arbitration eligibility. And it’s also why, when a good player gets a big contract later, it’s a little misguided to say that he’s overpaid. Because for the guys like Posey who make big splashes early, they spend three years being significantly underpaid.

  1. phukyouk - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    i’m just going to ask… what exactly does “ignificantly underpaid” mean? i know i’m being cynical but i hate when those words are used related to athletes.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Meaning that if he were able to shop his services to all 30 teams he would command many multiples the salary the Giants will pay him this year.

      I know everyone gets hung up on the “they’re being paid to play a game” thing, but the fact is that their salaries are made by a market for extremely rare and extremely valuable services, and that is why they make the money they do.

      • hasbeen5 - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        Capitalist propaganda!!

      • phukyouk - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:58 AM

        yea i know man…. its just aggravating to call them underpaid regardless…

      • tomemos - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        Why? Come out and say it.

    • larryhockett - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      If people were willing to pay lots of money to watch you do your job in person and on TV then you too could command a huge salary, regardless of how mundane or simple that job may seem to be.

  2. mercyflush - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    He had 1 great month and 1 great postseason. Lets see him do it consistently before we start talking about how great he is.

    • Lukehart80 - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      “One great month?” I assume you are referring to his incredible July, but he was damned good the rest of the season too. While of course even an entire season does not make for much of a sample size, surely you do not dispute Craig’s point that he would draw far more than $575,000 on the open market?

      By the way, is it common for teams to throw a little extra money at guys like this? Seems like an effort to gain a little good faith for future negotiations.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        Yeah, pretty common. There is an attempt to sort of make it correlate with service time ($150K for a year, a bit more for two, etc.) but it’s just sort of a random thing.

      • skipperxc - Mar 8, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        The Brewers use a formula to determine pre-arb raises. Doesn’t always come to that, but Prince Fielder was re-upped instead of signing an actual contract after his 50-homer second season. He was, er, less than happy. Beginning of the end, in hindsight.

    • Cran Boy - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      In addition to July, he had an .876 OPS in September, which was (1) crunch time and (2) a better OPS than every catcher in the majors last year except Soto. His .754 OPS in August was well above average too. He’s no Hurricane Hazle.

  3. loungefly74 - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    looking at buster’s face, he’d spend it all on a PS3, beanie babies, and pokeman cards. nah, i kid! yeah, he will get a good pay day in the future. he came up big with my Giants. love the kid.

  4. pmcenroe - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    …there goes another dong

  5. Jonny 5 - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    Getting paid 600 k a season isn’t too bad considering it’ll also give him a shot at making millions more in the future.

  6. uyf1950 - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    I can appreciate the comment “significantly underpaid”. However that really only occurs for 2 seasons. A players rookie year he’s not underpaid depending how he performs that year he may be significantly underpaid for years 2 and 3 if he performed well his rookie year. But generally after that at least years 3 through 6 he is paid the going rate for his position via the arbitration process. After 6 years most if not all players even players who perform relatively poorly are overpaid. So I would have to say over time the pendulum clearly swings in favor of the player (just my opinion). I wouldn’t feel to badly for Posey or any of the other “significantly underpaid” ballplayers. Because while they may be underpaid they are not paid poorly.

    • tomemos - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      Sure, I’ll agree with that. No one’s saying “feel bad for him,” they’re saying that he’s underpaid compared to what he’d get in an open market. It’s a counterbalance to the “spoiled athletes” narrative.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        they’re saying that he’s underpaid compared to what he’d get in an open market

        ^^ This. And remember, because the Giants held him out for 2 months, he didn’t hit Super 2 status so it won’t be until after Year 3 that he’s eligible for Arbitration. As long as he stays healthy he’ll get a nice payraise.

      • Bochy's Head/Timmy's Bong - Mar 8, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        Yup, here’s some appropriate comparisons I think. McCann has made approx. $14M thus far (including his $3M signing bonus) and returned $99M in free agent market value to the Braves (per Cot’s and Fangraphs). Mauer made, through the contract that covered his arb years (which would have ended in ’09), about $27M (incl. $5+M bonus) and returned $112M in value.

        Posey may or may not prove to be the equal of these two, but in being denied free market access in years 1-6, players similar to him return massive value to the owners beyond what they are paid.

      • scottp9 - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:38 PM

        Church, the Giants’ holding him down extra time in 2010 doesn’t affect his timeline for arbitration, because he had service time in 2009 as well. He’ll be eligible in two more years (after the 2012 season), just as he would have been if they’d had him up all year in 2010. Holding him down did ensure that he won’t be a free agent until after 2016 rather than 2015, though.

        Also, small correction to Craig’s post – the minimum salary this year is $414,000, not $417,000.

  7. natedawg321 - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    He also received a $6 million signing bonus when drafted.

  8. sayheykidwschamp - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    This is a very fair raise if gauged by his peers. For 1 year of service, well actually less, this is a nice bump. They will increase it again next year and then the year after that, they will most likely sign him to a multi-year suitable for a player of his caliber and take care of the rest of his arbi years. Also remember that players of this caliber get a pretty good signing bonus…$6.2mil which was the largest at that time in 2008 for a draftee. So the kid is doing very well financially, knows that he is loved by the Giants team and community and what company would not want to sponsor a kid that has such great character, a clean cut image, a baby face and a great baseball talent.

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