Why joining Giants ownership was best path for Posey originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Buster Posey sat down in the dugout after the end of the National League Division Series last October, he took time to heap praise on Logan Webb and talk about how the organization would be in his hands moving forward. It's always a good thing to have someone with Posey's stature in your corner, and after Wednesday's game, Webb joked about how it could be very helpful down the line.
Webb, who is arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason, told reporters in Denver that he shot Posey a text after learning that his former battery mate was buying into the Giants ownership group.
"I said, I know who to talk to now when I hit free agency," Webb said, laughing.
Posey will be just a small part of the decision-making process, but he left no doubt Wednesday about where his emphasis will lean. On a Zoom call to discuss the ownership move, Posey talked at length about the importance of the Giants leaning on homegrown stars.
"You look at our run that we had in '10, '12 and '14, it was largely led by homegrown talent," he said. "Now, obviously you can supplement and you can add pieces to that homegrown talent, but the hopes and dreams is that there's a handful of guys down there in the system right now that want to come up and really understand the opportunity that they have to be the next group of players that the city of San Francisco and the fanbase of the San Francisco Giants is going to get to attach themselves to for hopefully 10, 12, 15 years."
Posey was the best example of that kind of player, and after a dozen years as one of the most decorated stars in franchise history, he became the first former Giant to join the organization's ownership group, something that is becoming more common in the NBA but is still extremely rare in MLB.
Posey could have had his pick of jobs down the line. He could be a manager, or a baseball operations executive, or walk onto any TV set and pursue a broadcasting career. But the business side of the game has always appealed to him, and he made it clear Wednesday that he hopes to use this unique opportunity to learn from men and women who have been so successful in other pursuits that they were also able to afford a piece of the franchise.
Posey said ownership was not really on his radar until about a month after the 2022 season, when he decided that his playing days were over. His team took the possibility to Giants president and CEO Larry Baer and then to chairman Greg Johnson. Both were happy to welcome Posey in a new role, and he even got one of the half-dozen seats on the franchise's board of directors.
"I feel like this is going to be an opportunity for me to learn from owners that have been doing it a long time and have been at the top of their game in their respective fields," Posey said. "At the same time, being able to bring my unique perspective of just recently retiring. I've become friends with much of the staff of the Giants organization over the last 12 years, some of the staff that's on this call now, whether it's in PR or community funds or a charitable component of the organization.
"I'm just really looking forward to this opportunity to help support them where I can."
Posey recently moved his family, including four young children, back to Georgia and made it clear that his main focus will remain there, not on the day-to-day dealings of the roster. When asked if he would weigh in on the futures of close friends Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, he said he wouldn't expect Farhan Zaidi to even ask, and that Zaidi would understand when Posey bowed out of that kind of decision.
It's an odd discussion to have, because Posey is technically now one of the bosses of so many players and former teammates he has been friends with for years. But they were thrilled to see Posey back in the organization.
"It's awesome," Crawford said Wednesday. "I think fans will remember him for a long time anyway, but it's a way for him to stay with the organization and be part of some of the decision-making process there and hopefully be a players' voice in that group."
Over time, that may become a challenge, particularly if Posey has to sign off on a tough decision with a player he knows. But for now, he's here to learn, to help the front office double down on a commitment to homegrown talent, and to provide a boost for an organization that has not had much success in recent years when Posey hasn't been on the field.
"I kind of wish he was still playing, but at the same time it's always a good thing to have him here," Webb said. "It's better when the San Francisco Giants have Buster Posey a part of it."