SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey plans to announce his retirement Thursday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because Posey had yet to make his decision public.

The Giants said last month that they would exercise Posey’s $22 million club option for the 2022 season as long as the veteran catcher wanted to keep playing after a stellar year.

Posey, whose contract includes a $3 million buyout, helped lead the Giants to a franchise-record 107 wins and their first NL West title since 2012 by playing regularly down the stretch as he demonstrated his health and durability during his 12th major league season.

He batted .304 with 18 homers and 56 RBI, showing his surgically repaired right hip had finally regained full strength three years post-op.

The 34-year-old Posey opted out of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign to care for prematurely born adopted twin girls.

The Athletic first reported Posey’s pending retirement.

ROYALS: The Royals announced a series of front-office moves, including the addition of longtime first-base coach Rusty Kuntz as a special assistant to team president Dayton Moore and the general manager of quality control.

The moves came after Moore was promoted from general manager to a more wide-ranging role within the organization late in the season, and longtime assistant GM J.J. Picollo was promoted to fill his day-to-day role.

Rene Francisco was promoted to senior vice president in charge of major league and international operations; Scott Sharp was promoted to senior vice president and assistant GM; Jin Wong became vice president and assistant GM in charge of baseball administration; Daniel Mack moved to vice president and assistant GM in charge of research and development; and Jeff Davenport was promoted to vice president of major league team operations.

NATIONALS: Gary DiSarcina will coach third base, Eric Young Jr. will coach first base and Ricky Bones is the new bullpen coach as part of a revamped staff under Manager Dave Martinez.

DiSarcina and Bones come to Washington from the NL East rival New York Mets. Bones takes over for Henry Blanco, who shifts from bullpen coach to catching and strategy coach, a new role.

Washington finished last in the NL East this season, going 65-97 two years after Martinez guided them to a World Series title.

The Nationals said last month that they had hired Darnell Coles as their hitting coach to replace Kevin Long, who left to join the Philadelphia Phillies.

Staff members keeping their roles in Washington are bench coach Tim Bogar, assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler and pitching coach Jim Hickey.

DiSarcina was the Mets’ third base coach for the past three seasons after one year as their bench coach. He was a shortstop for 12 years in the majors with the Angels.

Young Jr. was an outfielder who played 10 seasons in the majors, most recently in 2018, and he worked as a minor league coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2021. His father is the first base coach for the World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

Bones pitched in the majors for 11 years and was a minor league pitching coach for the Nationals in 2005. He was the Mets’ bullpen coach from 2012-21.

TRADE: The Cincinnati Reds traded veteran Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday in exchange for infield prospect Nick Quintana.

Barnhart, a 31-year-old left-handed hitter and reliable backstop, leaves Cincinnati after eight years. In the last six seasons, he led the Reds in starts behind the plate and innings caught, winning NL Gold Gloves in 2017 and 2020.

FREE AGENTS: Freddie Freeman, World Series MVP Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario of the champion Atlanta Braves were among 160 players who became free agents as an uncertain offseason started with a lockout threat looming.

Houston shortstop Carlos Correa and Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, also became free agents.

Other stars who hit the market include Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Max Scherzer, Marcus Semien, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Michael Conforto and Kevin Gausman.

About 50 additional players are potentially eligible, pending decisions on options in their contracts for 2022.

Free agents can negotiate contracts with any team starting Sunday evening.

A slow market is expected as teams hesitate to make commitments before they know what the sport’s economic structure will be next year. The collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association expires Dec. 1, and a lockout appears likely.

Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer, who has been on paid leave since July 2 while he is investigated under MLB’s domestic violence policy, can opt out of the remaining two years in his contract, which calls for $32 million salaries in 2022 and ’23.

Boston designated hitter J.D. Martinez must decide on a player option as does Milwaukee outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

MARINERS: Left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi is leaving the Seattle Mariners after the team declined a club option on the All-Star and Kikuchi opted for free agency.

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