UPDATE: The Jays have released Vlad at his request. He’s now a free agent.
UPDATE: This has gotten even more complicated. Apparently he has not technically quit, but he has left the team and is telling the Jays he wants to be in the big leagues or no place at all. He is eligible, as of yesterday, to opt out of his deal with Toronto. Now it remains to be seen if the Jays will call his bluff.
11:15: Um, scratch that. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Guerrero is NOT giving up his comeback. Indeed, his agent just told Rosenthal that “nothing is further from the truth.”
So, um, as you were everyone.
11:00AM: Vladimir Guerrero, trying to latch on with the Toronto Blue Jays, has logged 11 games and 50 plate appearances in the minors this year. But that’s apparently all he’s gonna do, as it’s being reported that he has decided to call it quits:
No official word yet on why he’s calling it a day, but Dustin Parkes says that Vlad has looked terrible in his short time in Triple-A, so maybe he just knows it’s over.
If it is over, 449 homers, 2590 hits, a .318 career average, a career .939 OPS, the reputation of one of the strongest arms of his time and an MVP award make for a pretty good Hall of Fame case.
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.