Contreras considering move to Japan?

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According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, free agent Jose Contreras is considering a move to Japan.



Contreras’ 16-year-old son is hoping
to take part in an exchange program with a Japanese high school.
According to a Sanspo.com report, Contreras reached out to the Hanshin
Tigers earlier this week. Though the Tigers have likely ruled him out,
according to a team source, other teams could have interest in the
veteran right-hander.




Contreras was 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA
and 1.47 WHIP in 28 games (23 starts) between the White Sox and Rockies
in 2009. He was impressive upon his arrival in Colorado, posting a 1.59
ERA and 17/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings.
Whatever his age (he’s allegedly 37 years old, but we all know better), Contreras still has pretty strong peripherals and would likely find success in Japan.



Based on the location of his son’s
school, Newman thinks Contreras would be a good fit with the SoftBank
Hawks and Hiroshima Carp.

By the way, if you are looking for the best blog to keep up with the goings-on in Japanese baseball, bookmark NPB Tracker.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.