Eric Byrnes, who was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks last week, told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he would be interested in signing with his hometown Giants:
“It’s not a real secret (that) I’d definitely be interested,” Byrnes
said in a phone interview. “The Giants, of course, that’s the best fit
Byrnes, who turns 34 next month, grew up a Giants fan and still keeps
an offseason home in the area. He’d be available to sign anywhere at
the league minimum once he’s officially released by Arizona.
The Giants are set with Mark DeRosa and Aaron Rowand in left
and center, respectively, and it looks like Nate
Schierholtz will finally be provided a chance for a regular gig in right. At least Byrnes is amenable to being a complimentary piece, telling Shea “I’m not in a position to say
I’m an everyday player.”
Byrnes batted .226/.270/.390 with eight home runs, 31 RBI and nine stolen bases in 239 at-bats with the Diamondbacks last season, but missed more than two months with a fractured left hand.
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.