Good luck with that trade, Mr. Francoeur

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I call him “Mr. Fancoeur” because it just sounded so fun in that Wall Street Journal article I linked to this morning. I know that WSJ and the New York Times use “Mr.” and “Ms.” as a convention, but the convention really doesn’t work in sports articles. Did they do this when pro wrestling was pushing mainstream in the mid 80s? “Mr. Beefcake?” Would it have been “Mr. Albano” or would they have gone with the more formal title for “Captain” Lou? I digress.

The point to this post is to link to Howard Megdal’s analysis of Jeff Francoeur’s chances of being traded, as he has so demanded.  Howard’s piece provides a wonderful walk down bad-to-mediocre corner outfielder memory lane, and concludes by noting that, if history is any guide, ain’t no one gonna trade nothing for no Jeff Francoeur.

But let’s be clear about something: I don’t fault Jeff Francoeur for asking to be traded. On some level all athletes should feel like they’re awesome and should be playing all the time. The second they stop feeling that way, at least a little bit, is the second they lose their competitive edge.  Good for Mr. Francoeur for not losing confidence in himself.

No, my issue is this whole media campaign and his agents demands of the Mets that her client be given playing time. That’s just loopy. Keep that stuff quiet.   

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.