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Giants' Buster Posey set to announce retirement on Thursday, per report
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Giants' Buster Posey set to announce retirement on Thursday, per report

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Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants hits a three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on June 16, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

Buster Posey (28) of the San Francisco Giants hits a three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on June 16, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/TNS)

SAN FRANCISCO — One of the most decorated players in Giants history and the anchor of three World Series championship teams is set to announce his retirement.

Catcher Buster Posey, 34, is planning to formally retire from baseball on Thursday after spending parts of 12 seasons in a Giants uniform, according to a report from The Athletic.

Posey, a seven-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, two-time National League comeback Player of the Year Award winner and 2012 NL MVP, is expected to discuss his decision in detail on Thursday in San Francisco.

In the minutes following the Giants' Game 5 NLDS loss to the Dodgers last month, Posey hinted that he was not yet certain about his desire to continue playing. He said he and his wife Kristen would discuss his future in baseball in the days ahead as Posey has often reiterated his first priority ahead of baseball is taking care of his family.

"I'm definitely just going to take some time with my wife and talk to her, and I'll be able to be a full-time dad of four kids for the first time in a while," Posey said. "Just kind of take it slowly and see how things progress."

At the team's end-of-season press conference in October, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler spoke confidently about their desire to see Posey remain an integral piece of the club's roster moving forward. The Giants had a $22 million club option for Posey for the 2022 season that the team was expected to exercise by Sunday's deadline, but Posey's decision will render the option irrelevant.

"Obviously we want to have conversations with Buster and continue to have internal conversations, but having him on this team next year is a high priority," Zaidi said.

The Giants are in a better position to account for Posey's departure than they were in 2020, when the franchise cornerstone elected to sit out the truncated season to protect the health and safety of his adopted newborn identical twins.

At the time, Posey's heir apparent, 2018 No. 2 overall draft choice Joey Bart, had yet to play a Triple-A game and was thrust into major league games ahead of schedule. Bart spent almost the entire 2021 season with Triple-A Sacramento and several people inside the organization believe he'll be equipped to take on a prominent role as soon as opening day in 2022.

Posey has dealt with several significant injuries throughout his career that often made the catcher reflect on his life after baseball.

The first major injury Posey suffered came in May, 2011, when he fractured his fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle after a devastating collision with Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins. That injury forced Posey to miss the remainder of the season, but he returned to the Giants in 2012 and won a batting title by hitting .336 while setting career-highs with 24 home runs and a .957 OPS.

In August, 2018, Posey underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip that had zapped his power and made catching a more arduous task. Without a healthy winter to prepare for the grind of a 162-game season, Posey set career lows in 2019 with a .257 average and a .688 OPS that marked the first time in his career he'd posted an OPS below the league average.

After Posey chose to sit out the 2020 season toward the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there was widespread uncertainty as to whether he could return to the form he showed during the prime of his career and be an effective two-way player for the Giants.

With a home run in Seattle on opening night against the Mariners, Posey began a remarkable comeback tour as he hit 18 homers, stabilized one of the league's best pitching staffs and served as an on and off-the-field leader for a Giants team that set a franchise-record with 107 wins.

Posey will finish his career with a .302 batting average, 158 home runs and three World Series titles, as he anchored the 2010, 2012 and 2014 championship teams for a franchise that hadn't hoisted a trophy since moving west to San Francisco in 1958.

After posting a 3.5 bWAR in 2021, Posey will likely win his fifth career Silver Slugger Award and exit the game with an impressive Hall of Fame résumé. Posey might be the only player to win all three World Series titles with San Francisco who ends up enshrined in Cooperstown, but five years will pass before one of the greatest players in Giants franchise history lands on the Hall of Fame ballot.

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