That’s the world from Ken Rosenthal, who says that the Astros’ efforts to make a deal for Roy Oswalt are being thwarted by:
- Money. We knew this, of course. Oswalt is owed about $6 million more this season and $16 million in 2011;
- Oswalt: Rosenthal suggests that Oswalt is getting cute with his no-trade clause, and that the teams he will or will not agree to be traded to is a “moving target.” and
- The front office: Ed Wade is trying to “hit a home run” in terms of prospects, while not being all that willing to kick in any money in the deal. Those two concepts don’t really go together.
Is it just me, or does it sound like no one in Houston is all that hot to deal Oswalt? Oswalt made the trade demand to kick all this off, but since then I haven’t gotten the sense that he really wants to go. If he did, he’d be less fussy about the no-trade, right? The Astros, it seems, would love to keep the guy around. It’s like they’re shopping him simply because a critical mass of people have said they should be.
And that critical mass is not really wrong. But if neither the team nor the player have their hearts in it, why bother?
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.