Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is going on the 10-day disabled list with a back injury. Zimmerman sustained the injury on a slide into home plate on Wednesday and has been out of commission ever since, though he isn’t expected to miss significant time recovering. On Saturday, the club selected the contract of Mark Reynolds and will presumably utilize him as a backup option at first base.
It’s been a tough month for Zimmerman, who was also laid up after battling soreness in his side over the last week. The 33-year-old infielder is coming off of a strong .303 average and 3.3 fWAR in 2017, but thanks to various health issues, hasn’t been able to produce much more than a .217/.280/.409 batting line, five home runs and a .689 OPS over his first 125 plate appearances of 2018.
Reynolds, 34, was inked to a minor league deal with the club in April. He posted underwhelming numbers during his first few games in Triple-A Syracuse, slashing .231/.286/.333 with two extra-base hits and a .619 OPS in 42 PA, but will likely play second fiddle to the hot-hitting Matt Adams for the time being.
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.