Alex Rodriguez to begin baseball activities Thursday

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The Yankees were notable for their inactivity before Sunday’s trade deadline, but remember that they have some pretty good help on the way.

According to George A. King III of the New York Post, Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed earlier today that Alex Rodriguez will begin baseball activities Thursday in Tampa. Rodriguez underwent surgery on July 11 to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee.

“The idea is to start getting him doing some baseball stuff,” manager Joe Girardi said Sunday. “I think once he gets going, it shouldn’t take that long. It’s more just waiting for the knee to heal. I don’t think you’re talking about having to do a week of rehab games. I think once we get it, it’ll go pretty quickly.”

The Yankees haven’t given an indication about when Rodriguez will begin a rehab assignment, but they are hopeful that he’ll be ready to return by the middle of this month.

Rodriguez, 36, is hitting .295/.366/.485 with 13 homers, 52 RBI and an .852 OPS over 344 plate appearances this season. Though the knee has surely played a part, he hasn’t homered since June 11.

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.