How about that Edgar Renteria?

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I would have been mildly surprised if, before the series, you told me that the Giants would be up 2-0.  I would have been a bit more surprised if you would have told me that the Giants would be up 2-0 because Cliff Lee got lit up in Game 1.  But I would have been most surprised if you told me that a big part of the Giants being up 2-0 was because Edgar Renteria has been playing incredible baseball.  Really, that wouldn’t have computed.

As you saw last night, Renteria hit a solo homer off C.J. Wilson in the fifth inning and hit a two-run single in the eighth.  On Wednesday he was one for three and scored a couple of runs.  Each night he played some pretty darn solid shortstop, with the only blemish being a dropped throw when Buster Posey tried to cut down a runner last night.

More than anything, though, is that he has looked downright spry out there.  Intense, even. I don’t mean to disparage him or anything, but “intense” is not a word you could have used to describe Renteria’s play for the past several years.  He’s a guy who has talked openly of retirement recently. Who has business and charitable interests in Colombia that occupy him more and more as time goes on (he really is a big deal there).  He sat an awful lot in the second half of the season and it would have surprised no one if he all but disappeared as the playoffs got underway.

But he hasn’t. He’s been pretty awesome, actually. And I suppose him sitting so much in the second half has a lot to do with that. I mean, those [ahem] “35-year-old” bones probably needed the rest.  And even if Bruce Bochy never figured that Renteria was going to be an important part of the Giants’ championship push, the rest has done them wonders.

Renteria may still retire after this season. But if he does, it’s nice to see him go out looking a bit more like the exciting player we met as a Florida Marlin than the aging vet he has appeared to be these past few years.

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.