Cooperstown just added three new Hall of Famers, as umpire Hank O’Day, executive Jacob Ruppert, and catcher/third baseman Deacon White have been elected by the veteran’s committee that this year was tasked with evaluating candidates from the “pre-integration” era of 1876-1946.
O’Day had a 40-year umpiring career that began in 1888, also playing and managing during that time.
Ruppert owned the Yankees from 1915-1939, during which time they made 11 trips to the World Series and won eight championships. Oh, and he’s the guy who got Babe Ruth from the Red Sox.
White played from 1871-1890 and his 20-year career is made even more remarkable by the fact that he was one of the first bare-handed catchers. He hit .312, winning two batting titles, and as you can see in the picture to the right he also had a helluva mustache.
Candidates the veteran’s committee did not elect this year: Marty Marion, Bucky Walters, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Tony Mullane, Samuel Breadon, Alfred Reach.
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.