No, the Brewers are not gonna be a small-ball team now that Prince Fielder is gone

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Nyjer Morgan was asked how the Brewers are gonna do without Prince Fielder. This stuck out:

“It’s probably going to be a little more speedy this year,’’ Morgan said. “You can see that we’re going to have to rely on trying to steal bags and stuff like that, and not worrying about trying to hit those gaps all the time.

The Brewers led the NL in homers (and slugging percentage) last season. Prince Fielder hit 38 homers last year. The Brewers’ new third baseman, Aramis Ramirez, hit 26.  I know you can’t play simply swapsies with this sort of thing, but if you had swapped Fielder for Aramis Ramirez then, they still would have been tied for second in homers in the league.

Losing Prince Fielder is going to change some things for Milwaukee. But it’s not gonna transform the team from one that hits for power to the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals or something. Even if that would be better for Nyjer Morgan’s game.

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.