SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey will not follow Joe Mauer's career path, at least for the near future.
Speaking at baseball's General Managers Meetings in Orlando, Fla., Giants GM Brian Sabean affirmed that Posey, the club's prized catcher, will remain behind the plate indefinitely and perhaps for as long as he plays with San Francisco.
"When we signed him to an extension, we considered him as a catcher, and those numbers he was able to get in the extension were based on him being a catcher," said Sabean, referring to the nine-year, $167 million deal Posey and the Giants reached last March. For Posey, Sabean added, catching "is his passion, and that's where we need him to be at long term."
Posey has started 350 games at catcher and 77 at first base since reaching the Major Leagues in 2010. Many of his appearances at first base are geared toward sparing him the physical erosion of catching while keeping his valuable bat in the lineup.
Posey, 26, already has won the National League's Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards and is a two-time NL All-Star. He received none of those accolades in 2011, when he sustained multiple left leg injuries in a horrific home-plate collision with Scott Cousins of the Marlins and was limited to 45 games.
That incident prompted Giants manager Bruce Bochy to suggest amending the rules to eliminate or discourage violent collisions at the plate to protect the health of catchers.
Said Sabean at the GM Meetings, "There are a lot of issues. I see both sides, having gone through it with Buster. Our diligence in the game is from a safety standpoint and to make sure we're not putting people in harm's way when they shouldn't be."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.