Mike Moustakas almost has an offseason BINGO

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We already heard that Mike Moustakas has lost weight and may be in the Best Shape of His Life. Now we hear that he’s been working on his swing, trying to learn to take the ball the other way. Use that third base/left field side.

Good for him! Hope he improves because a productive Mike Moustakas would go a long way toward helping the Royals improve on their 86-win season and a contending Royals team would probably be pretty fun. Sort of like Pittsburgh last season. I sorta want to see that.

But it’s also possible that this is just your standard offseason cliche. Getting in shape. Working on my swing. If we see a story about him working with some respected former major leaguer or having offseason workouts with some other player on another team, we will have pretty much filled Moustakas’ offseason hitters BINGO card.

Pitchers BINGO cards have “working on my changeup” and “working on my arm slot” to go with BSHOL, by the way.

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.