Johan Santana’s plans for this week have changed several times–or at least reports of his plans have changed several times–but now he’s officially scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment with a start tomorrow at high Single-A.
That will start the 30-day clock on his rehab stint, which means barring a setback Santana is on track to return from the disabled list by August 28, which would be just over 11 months since shoulder surgery.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Santana will throw around 45 pitches in his first outing since beating the Braves with five innings of one-run ball on September 2 of last season.
Presumably he’ll make a handful of rehab starts, gradually building back his arm strength and increasing his pitch count, and then rejoin the Mets’ rotation for a half-dozen or so starts down the stretch. Santana is owed $55 million for the next two seasons, so the primary goal for the Mets should be getting him healthy and ready for 2012.
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.