From CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly:
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval had an MRI exam that ruled out major structural damage in his sore right elbow, and the Giants remain optimistic that their World Series MVP will start on opening day.
But Sandoval’s arm will bear watching all season, head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said. In addition to ulnar neuritis, Sandoval has a bone spur in his elbow that appears similar to the spur that had shown up on tests since 2009.
The bone spur is not causing Sandoval any pain right now, so it doesn’t need to be surgically removed.
“Most of these guys have spurs, and he has a chronic one,” Groeschner told Baggarly on Tuesday night.
Sandoval hasn’t thrown for a couple of days and could remain in shutdown mode for the rest of this week as a precautionary measure. He played winter ball and was on Team Venezuela for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, so the Giants aren’t too worried about getting him more Cactus League at-bats. San Francisco opens its regular-season schedule on April 1 against the Dodgers. And Sandoval should be in the starting lineup.
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.