HardballTalk Extra: adventures in basement broadcasting

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So this is the first edition of
HardballTalk Extra, which is the name we’re giving this little video adventure. Today Tiffany Simons — who is a total pro and knows what she’s doing — and I — a complete amateur who literally filmed his half of this from his freakin’ basement — talk about Oliver Perez, Bryce Harper and Pete
Vuckovich.
Pete Vuckovich? Yeah, Pete Vuckovich. Because like, why not?

But before you press play, allow me to note that we were gonna do another take of this to smooth out my (multiple) rough edges, but then the power went out at my house preventing us from doing so.  I’m approximately 100% sure that Tiffany, Matt, Brian and the other people putting this together back at the studio did a monster facepalm when that happened and are now at a happy hour somewhere telling their friends that, really, they don’t have electricity west of the Hudson River.

And did I mention that I’m new at this and that I was in my basement?  OK, now I’m just pathetically grovelling, but please be merciful and take my word for it when I tell you’ll that I’ll get better.  Enjoy the show:
 

 

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.