Cubs give Nady one-year contract to platoon with Fukudome … for now

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Xavier Nady’s one-year deal with the Cubs is worth $3 million plus another $2 million in incentives and sets him up to platoon with Kosuke Fukudome in right field, which is a good fit for a right-handed hitter coming off Tommy John surgery in that he’ll face mostly left-handed pitching and won’t be asked to play every day.
At least not initially.
Nady is a career .308/.383/.471 hitter against lefties, which is good for an .854 OPS that easily tops his .769 mark against righties. Fukudome is the exact opposite in that he’s a left-handed hitter who’s batted .262/.372/.417 versus right-handers compared to just .242/.343/.324 versus southpaws.
Assuming that Nady and his surgically repaired elbow pass the pre-signing physical exam they’ll make for a prototypical and very productive platoon, although given Fukudome’s propensity to fall into prolonged slumps there’s a good chance Nady will also claim plenty of his starts against righties at some point.

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.