Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is not on the postseason roster and, given a reoccurrence of his back injury in his final at bat of the season, stood no chance to be on the roster. He’s physically unable to play.
He could, if he wanted, be in the Dodgers clubhouse during the World Series, however, as non-roster players often are. As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, he has chosen not to. He’s in Europe with his family.
Gonzalez has the blessing of the Dodgers team brass in his absence, with GM Farhan Zaidi saying, “[h]e’s taking time with his family. I think guys totally understand that.” Gonzalez’s teammates quoted by Shaikin are generally OK with it, though a couple at least hint that it’d be nice if he were around. No one, on the record or off, is actively grumbling.
Still, it’s kind of odd. Gonzales was not a part of the Dodgers success in 2017, but he has been a key part of the club for many years now. He’s also been a vocal clubhouse leader over the years, so you’d think he’d want to be around and that his teammates would like to have him there. As many players have noted, of course, it’s very hard to be a leader — heck, it’s even hard to simply feel comfortable — when you’re not active. This story about Adam Eaton from last summer explains that in pretty compelling detail.
Strange that, if the Dodgers win it all, Gonzalez will learn about it from his phone, waking up in a European hotel or a rented villa or something.
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.