San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey recently joined the growing list of MLB stars opting out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and health concerns. He confirmed the news on Friday while citing a different reason than many of his peers. Posey said he is opting out due to the health of his newly-adopted twin girls.
According to ESPN, the twins were born eight weeks premature on July 3. Posey and his wife, Kristen, finalized the adoption on Thursday. The two girls, Ada and Livvi, are healthy but will have weakened immune systems for the next few months. They will need to spend time in neonatal intensive care. Posey said that his daughters are "fragile" right now, and he is focusing on keeping them healthy.
"In the current state that we are right now and these babies being as fragile as they are for the next four months, at minimum, this ultimately wasn't that difficult a decision for me," Posey said. "From a baseball standpoint, it was a tough decision. From a family standpoint and feeling like I'm making a decision to protect our children, I think it was relatively easy."
Posey continued and explained that he would play baseball under different circumstances. However, he said that the premature birth was the deciding factor. "I do think it's very much an individual decision because we're all trying to decipher information that's changing rapidly," Posey said.
With this decision, the Giants star joins several other MLB players remaining away from the diamond when the season begins. Dodgers pitcher David Price, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond and Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake all previously said they would skip the 2020 season. Despite losing one of their best players, the Giants have expressed support for Posey.
"This is not a difficult one," said manager Gabe Kapler. "I think that a lot of people around baseball will say family first. I think it's important that we actually put that into action by throwing all of our support in making these decisions even easier for players because they know that they have to support the leadership in the organization."
Posey, a six-time All-Star, is one of the most prominent players to skip July 23's opening-day battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as the entire season. He is a three-time World Series champion and was the 2012 NL MVP. Now his absence will leave a hole on the Giants' roster, but the team supports his decision.