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How Buster Posey’s Giants ownership role adds value to big MLB offseason

SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey’s trophy case back in Georgia holds just about every piece of hardware a big leaguer could hope to win, and he’s not far from the day when he will have to prepare to give a speech in Cooperstown. But there was one role in Major League Baseball that Posey could never quite master.

The Giants involved Posey in several recruiting trips over the years, including a visit with Jon Lester nearly a decade ago and a flight to Los Angeles five years ago to meet with Shohei Ohtani. When the runner-up banners started to pile up for the front office, Posey joked that his recruiting days were over, but he now may get to try it in a different role.

The organization announced Wednesday morning that Posey has bought into the ownership group, and while it’s unclear what that will mean for his future in player transactions, that does give them one more card to play at times.

Posey is a recent player who garnered tremendous respect from peers, and he will now hold one of a half-dozen board seats for an organization intent on trying to go big this offseason.

“My recruiting record is not very good. There’s time to improve upon that,” Posey said on a Zoom call. “I think my role will be to be helpful where I can be helpful, and if that involves taking some time to get to know a prospective free agent then I would happily do that.”

Posey now joins a board chaired by Greg Johnson, who spoke to a group of reporters for the first time since taking over as the control person for the organization’s ownership group, which now includes 31 people after the Posey announcement. Johnson said the franchise is “hopeful” Posey will play a key role.

“To have somebody like Buster have that one-on-one discussion as part of the process, I think is very additive to that overall process,” Johnson said.

Posey made it clear that all decisions still will be made by president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, and Johnson passed on discussing in-depth the current state of the Giants or the 2022 season, noting that Zaidi will soon meet with reporters to give his own take. The initial role for Posey will be a small one — and given the franchise’s valuation, well over $3 billion — the initial stake is surely a small one, too.

Posey declined to offer details on what his share of the pie is and he noted that he had moved his family, including four young children, to Georgia, and still would not be seen at the ballpark too often. But you don’t make this kind of move without some expectation that Posey — like Magic Johnson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and many others — will be in the spotlight more than other owners and board members with much larger stakes.

“We wish we were announcing that Buster was going to take the field for us this year or next year but I think this is the second best thing,” Johnson said. “I think at the end of the day, having somebody like Buster — who I certainly have gotten to know over the past years as well as I’m sure all of you — I really know that he is a unique individual, beyond He’s really a quality, thoughtful person that already for the Giants, having left the competitive side of the field, I think has added a lot of value and insights.”

Johnson noted that, when he initially took over, he was shocked by the lack of trust between players and ownership, two sides that couldn’t come to an agreement on a new CBA until after a lengthy lockout last offseason.

He said the Giants “will be a stronger organization” because of Posey’s inclusion and added that baseball will be stronger for it, as well.

RELATED: Posey becomes first ex-player to join Giants ownership group

For the Giants to be stronger on the field, though, they need someone like Posey in a playing position. A year after winning 107 games, they are on track to finish under .500, but Johnson said there’s a commitment to be aggressive this offseason. Posey said he’s “excited to provide insight” as the Giants chase some big names and likely increase payroll.

“Ultimately as we said before, we don’t have a fixed number (for payroll) yet. It’s what we think we need to do to put a competitive team on the field,” Johnson said. “As you know, we have a lot of flexibility coming into this offseason and we’re well aware of the (free agent) shortstops and the person who can hit in the Bronx that is out there.

“Farhan ultimately will come with his suggested number. We haven’t done that yet, but we’re certainly looking at that right now and we’re well aware that we’ve got some gaps that need to be addressed.”

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