UPDATE: OK, pretty much ignore everything that follows. I didn’t read all the way to the end and thus didn’t realize that the “Manny Ramirez” The Los Angeles Time’s T.J. Simers interviewed was not, in fact, the Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez. It was a jockey who is also named Manny Ramirez who works at the race track Simers went to. Har har har.
In other news: screw T.J. Simers.
The Los Angeles Times’ T.J. Simers ran into Manny Ramirez at a race track/casino in West Virginia on the Dodgers’ off day Tuesday night. As is Simers’ habit, he asked Manny off-the-wall questions trying to get a reaction. As is Ramirez’s habit, he said whatever popped into his head with little care of regard for the politics of it all.
I tend to like both of those guys for those very reasons.
The highlights: Manny takes Jamie’s side in the McCourt divorce, he wasn’t all that into the opening game on Monday, he thinks the Giants are going to win the NL West and he hates Boston more than any other city.
I expect some people will get their panties all in a bunch about that stuff — paging the Boston media and Bill Plaschke! But given that we’re more than fifteen years into the Ramirez Experience I would hope that everyone would just let it go, ya know?
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.