Johan Santana won’t be ready for Opening Day

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Johan Santana underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder in September. At the time it was reported that the time table for rehab was 24 weeks and that he could throw at 20 weeks. That would have had him throwing — not pitching — in mid-February.  As such, it seemed that it was pretty unrealistic that Santana would be ready to start the season. Sandy Alderson confirmed that yesterday:

“We’ve been told he’ll be able to begin tossing in January. But, realistically, I don’t think anybody expects him to be ready Opening Day. And, really, the question is when exactly he will be ready. Nobody has told us he’ll miss the season or anything of that sort. But I think that certainly we have to assume he’s not going to start the season.”

I think it’s fair to say that no general manager in baseball faces a tougher task than Sandy Alderson. I mean, sure, there are far worse teams, but at least in those situations you can just bulldoze everything and start over. The Mets, however, have enough pieces to be respectable, but enough problems — things like trying to find a replacement for an ace — that getting to that point is going to be really hard. Add in the managerial search and the inherent pressure that goes with New York, and it’s just a really hard job ahead of him.

 

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.