Brandon Phillips doesn't back down; Cardinals still, presumably, "little bitches"

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Gotta admire a man for sticking to his guns.  Here’s Brandon Phillips a few minutes ago, the day after his “the Cardinals are little bitches” comments:

“I said what I said and the Cardinals can say what they said. They can
say all they want about what I said, I don’t care. I’ve said all I’ve
got to say. All I want to do is win, beat those guys and win.”

No “I was misquoted” or “that was taken out of context.”  He just owns it.  Good for him.

His teammates are basically letting it go too.  Bronson Arroyo describes it as “Brandon being Brandon,” and compares him to OchoCinco. Arroyo goes on to note that the whole “is this ammunition for the other guys” question isn’t easy to answer. After all, he says, if someone plunks Phillips over it, he’s liable to come around and score.

Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty are also quoted and while neither of them seem all that happy about Phillips comments, their responses are more of the eyes rolling variety.  Which is probably the best response.  The only thing that makes this a bigger distraction than it already is is for the Reds to make it one.

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.