Mark Trumbo said earlier this week that the Angels wanted him to work with bench coach Rob Picciolo this offseason in order to see if he could be an option at third base, but those plans will have to be put on hold for now.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that a foot and and ankle specialist told Trumbo that the stress fracture in his right foot needs at least another month to heal. The American League Rookie of the Year candidate was shut down during the final week of the regular season due to the injury.
“We’re still going to proceed with caution,” said Trumbo. “I’m a bit disappointed, but these are the experts. They feel it would be wise to give this ample time to get better.”
Trumbo, 25, stepped in admirably at first base for the Angels this season, batting .254/.291/.477 with 25 home runs, 87 RBI and a .768 OPS over 573 plate appearances. However, with Kendrys Morales on the comeback trail from a second surgery on his troublesome left ankle and the outfield and DH spots crowded enough that top prospect Mike Trout could begin the 2012 season in the minors, Trumbo may struggle to receive regular at-bats moving forward.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the experiment isn’t to see if Trumbo can be a full-time third baseman, but rather a “50-game third baseman.” That may be wishful thinking, though. Trumbo has never played a game at third base professionally and many believe his lack of range will be an issue. That he’s coming off a foot injury probably doesn’t help matters.
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.