The Reds have a decision to make on Aroldis Chapman

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As John Fay reports, Arolids Chapman’s rehab time is up on Tuesday, and at that point the Reds have to decide if they’re going to call him back to Cincy or option him to the minors.

It had been shaping up to be an easy decision until Saturday — keep the man down — but then Chapman had a nice outing, . Is that evidence of things to come, or is it just a blip on what has been an otherwise horrid little eight-outing trip through AAA and AA?

Certainly an effective Chapman would be nice to have back, but if there’s any question about it, I’m not sure I’d take a chance on him in the majors yet. The Reds are basically a middle of the pack bullpen overall on the season, and that was with Chapman’s walk-tastic outings dragging them down some.  No, I don’t expect Bill Bray — the lefty who has benefited most from Chapman’s absence — to maintain a 1.59 ERA for the rest of the season, but I’d want to see more than one nice appearance by Chapman before he’s thrown back in the big league pen.

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.