Posey leaves door open to not playing in 2020

July 5th, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The signs of troubling times are everywhere for .

On his drive into San Francisco, he looked around and saw everyone wearing masks. He sported a mask at Oracle Park on Saturday afternoon while practicing blocking drills in the new bullpens out in right-center field. After completing his first workout of Summer Camp, he sat down in front of a computer and spoke to several masked reporters via Zoom.

"It's such a strange time," Posey said. "I'm looking at you guys wearing masks on a computer screen right now."

The gravity of the coronavirus pandemic is impossible to ignore for Posey, who admitted that he is not ruling out electing not to play this season due to health and safety concerns. Five Major League players have already announced their intentions to sit out the abbreviated 2020 campaign for similar reasons: Mike Leake of the D-backs, Ian Desmond of the Rockies. Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross of the Nationals and David Price of the Dodgers.

“I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well," Posey said. "I want to see how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. It would be a little bit naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you. Not only around you here, but paying attention to what’s happening in the country and different parts of the country. Obviously, [it's] unprecedented times right now. But most definitely, I’ve thought about it and talked about it with my wife quite a bit.

"I’m going to watch what’s going on and keep communicating with my wife and pay attention to what’s going on around me here at the ballpark and what’s going in the country. I mean, I’d be surprised if you asked any player if they gave you a hard line, ‘No way, I’m not going to opt out ever’ answer."

Manager Gabe Kapler said Posey will have the full backing of the organization regardless of whether he chooses to suit up for the Giants in 2020 or not.

 “He sets a great example of speaking openly about where he stands on things,” Kapler said. “This is a very personal decision. Whatever Buster decides to do, myself and the organization are going to support.” 

Posey missed Friday’s workout due to a personal issue, but he participated in all activities on Saturday, catching right-handers Kevin Gausman and Logan Webb during their live bullpen sessions before stepping into the box to face reliever Sam Coonrod.

“You have to make the effort,” Posey said. “I feel like you make the effort, you get here, you take a look around at how things are going. I think we all just have to be somewhat cautiously optimistic right now.”

Still, Posey knows the nature of catching could put him in a more precarious position than other players during the regular season. He won’t be able to socially distance himself from opposing batters or the home-plate umpire, which is another cause for concern.

“I think the biggest concern for me is protecting the people that are going home to those people who are compromised or older,” Posey said. "... Ultimately, I still feel like there are unknowns. That’s kind of where I’m falling on it. Hopefully we have more solid answers as medicine makes advances.”