Chien-Ming Wang threw from flat ground at Nationals camp today and has already tossed four bullpen sessions since re-signing with the team in December, but the rehabbing right-hander told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he expects to begin the season on the disabled list.
Wang is still recovering from shoulder surgery that caused him to miss much of 2009 and all of 2010. After earning $2 million without throwing an inning for the Nationals last season he’ll give it another try on a one-year, $1 million deal that includes up to $5 million in incentives.
Kilgore writes that “he seemingly can be ruled to make the Opening Day rotation” and “is aiming to be ready to pitch in the majors by late April or May.” Until then he’ll likely be placed on the DL and build up arm strength on a minor-league rehab assignment. He hasn’t seen game action since July 4, 2009.
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.