While the Red Sox were scheduled to interview Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont for their managerial vacancy today, general manager Ben Cherington may have already pegged a favorite.
Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston writes that Cherington is “extremely high” on Brewers hitting coach and former Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum. In fact, Edes goes as far to speculate that Cherington has already made up his mind on a recommendation to ownership, but is going through the process in order to make sure “his judgment is sound.”
It was a little surprising to hear Lamont was interviewing, given that he turns 65 in December and hasn’t managed in the majors since 2000, but he could be an ideal bench coach for a rookie manager. For what it’s worth, Sveum played for Lamont with the Pirates in 1997.
In addition to Sveum and Lamont, the Red Sox have interviewed Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Blue Jays first base coach and former PawSox manager Torey Lovullo. The speculation shouldn’t last much longer, as the Red Sox are expected to name a new manager by Thanksgiving.
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.