UPDATE: Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu tells Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that Milton Bradley will have to learn how to deal with distractions:
“It’s tough,” Wakamatsu said. “There have been players in the past who’ve had to deal with it. I played with Barry Bonds and Barry Bonds was as good as anybody in the game at dealing with that. It’s about the club. It’s not about things that aren’t about pertaining to baseball. And that’s what we’re going to try to focus on.”
11:58 AM: With a middle finger, of course. Milton Bradley flipped the bird to fans in Arlington during the fourth inning of Friday’s 6-2 loss to the Rangers. Lookout Landing has the uncensored photo, if you think you can handle it.
Bradley was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Friday. He struck out swinging in the top of the fourth, so it’s safe to say he was probably being heckled by the crowd. If you are surprised by this incident, you were probably also shocked to see the sun rise this morning.
By the way, Bradley is 1-for-17 (.059) with seven strikeouts to begin his tenure with Seattle. He’s probably not a very happy guy right now. But again, I’m not sure he ever is.
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.