When Pablo Sandoval elected to leave San Francisco for Boston, the Giants were left with a major void at third base.
General manager Brian Sabean made it clear at the Winter Meetings that Buster Posey would not be Sandoval's replacement.
"Buster's a catcher," Sabean told reporters. "He's a franchise player, a franchise catcher."
As a freshman at Florida State, Posey was a shortstop, but he transitioned to catcher as a sophomore and started all 62 games behind the plate in 2007.
The Giants selected Posey fifth overall in 2008 to be a catcher.
In 2010, Posey made 75 starts behind the plate and 30 at first base. He was named NL Rookie of the Year.
In 2011, Posey made 41 starts behind the plate and two at first base before sustaining a season-ending leg/ankle injury on May 25 (we don't need to relive the gruesome home-plate collision).
In 2012, Posey made 111 starts behind the plate, 29 at first base, and three at DH. He was named National League MVP.
In 2013, Posey made 119 starts behind the plate, 16 at first base and five at DH.
And in 2014, Posey made 109 starts behind the plate, 30 at first base and two at DH.
How many games would the Giants like him to catch in 2015?
"I look at it at 120 but I think there's room for some above that," Giants assistant GM Bobby Evans told KNBR 680-AM on Wednesday. "I wouldn't expect anything below that. Part of the challenge for us is we do want to keep Buster healthy, but we also know he's a difference-maker behind the plate in the way he calls a game, in the way he handles our pitching staff.
"Nobody saw that better than what he did in the postseason, not just in calling the game, but receiving the baseball and really being our play-maker there. So we are gonna have to be careful about how much time he's not behind the plate."
Over 17 games in the 2014 postseason, the Giants played 161 total defensive innings. Posey caught 159 of them (Andrew Susac caught innings seven and eight in Game 6 of the World Series).
As the Giants advanced deep into the playoffs, the wear and tear behind the dish seemed to have an effect on his offensive production.
After going 2-for-5 against Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Game, and hitting .389 (7-for-18) in the NLDS against the Nationals, Posey hit just .200 (4-for-20) in the NLCS against the Cardinals, and .154 (4-for-26) against the Royals in the World Series.
He did not deliver a single extra-base hit all postseason, yet the Giants still won their third World Series title in five years.
"We like the fact that between Hector (Sanchez) and (Andrew) Susac, we got two solid options for the days that Buster isn't catching," Evans continued. "Selfishly, we'd like to keep him back there as much as possible but we do have to keep him healthy."