Jose Abreu and the Kansas City Royals are tied for the MLB lead in homers

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We’re about 20 percent of the way through the season and rookie White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu leads baseball with 12 home runs, which is also the same number of home runs the Kansas City Royals have combined to hit as a team. Seriously.

Abreu has 12 homers in 141 plate appearances.

Kansas City has 12 homers in 1,109 plate appearances.

Here are the league leaders if we pretend for a moment that the Royals are one individual person who just weighs a lot and has 50 sets of limbs:

Jose Abreu           12
Kansas City Royals   12
Albert Pujols        10
Giancarlo Stanton    10
Jose Bautista         9
Nelson Cruz           9
Adrian Gonzalez       9

To put the Royals’ lack of power in some team-based context, consider that the Rockies have hit 44 home runs and the average non-Royals team has hit 28 home runs.

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.