MLB makes up another rule, Mets approve

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Under the old free agent system, the Mets would have gotten the Marlins’ third-round pick next summer (plus a compensation pick between the first and second rounds) for losing Jose Reyes. MLB, though, is still working through this whole draft-pick compensation thing after the new CBA, and let it be known today that the Mets will get the Marlins’ second-rounder instead.

The Marlins’ second-rounder was supposed to go to San Diego for Heath Bell. That’s because Bell placed higher than Reyes in the Elias Rankings, which, until a couple of weeks ago, had been the determining factor when it came to free agent compensation. The Marlins couldn’t lose their first-rounder since, as one of the league’s bottom 15 teams last season, that pick was protected.

Now the Padres will get a newly created pick just before the Marlins’ scheduled second-round pick as part of the compensation for Bell. The Mets are due the second-rounder…. for now anyway. There’s no word yet on what will happen if the Marlins sign Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder. Previously, such a move would have knocked the Mets’ pick from the third round down to the fourth round.

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.