After the Reds signed Ryan Madson last week, Francisco Cordero was forced to turn his attention to a free agent market without many obvious places to close ballgames. The Orioles were mentioned as a possibility on Monday, but it’s hard to see why adding a late-game reliever should be a priority for them, especially when they already have last offseason’s big mistake Kevin Gregg under contract $5.8 million in 2012.
While Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto has downplayed his interest in adding a reliever, passing over the opportunity to make a play for Madson, Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com hears that they are indeed in the market for another late-game option and have shown interest in Cordero.
Cordero, who turns 37 in May, posted a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves over 68 relief appearances last season with the Reds. However, he also averaged just 5.4 K/9 and saw his fastball velocity dip to a career-low 93 mph.
Jordan Walden currently projects as the Angels’ closer this season after posting a 2.98 ERA, 32 saves and a 67/26 K/BB ratio over 60 1/3 innings during his rookie season. Of course, he also led the American League with 10 blown saves. While Cordero is obviously on the decline, he could present an alternative should Walden struggle during his sophomore campaign. And given how the market for Cordero has completely collapsed, the Angels likely wouldn’t have to spend much to sign him.
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.