Mets third baseman David Wright is poised to begin a rehab assignment with High-A Lucie, the team announced Saturday. It hasn’t been two weeks since club GM John Ricco said the infielder was “coming up against the clock” in order to play this season, and while there still doesn’t appear to be a definite timetable for his return to the majors, it’s a big step forward as he looks to resume his pro ball career.
Wright, 35, hasn’t played in a major league game since May 2016 and hasn’t appeared at any level of professional baseball since last August. His injuries have been numerous and varied; in the years following his final game in the majors, he’s suffered multiple back, shoulder, and neck issues and undergone neck surgery, right rotator cuff surgery, and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back. He’s been limited in his baseball activities since then, naturally, only taking batting practice and fielding grounders on a few occasions at Citi Field, and finally appears healthy enough to take the next step in his recovery process.
Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that future injuries aren’t in Wright’s future or that he’ll make it back to the majors anytime soon — let alone return to the .300+ average, 30+ homers, and 100+ RBI he posted in his prime. For now, he’ll work on making smaller gains, starting with the five innings he’s scheduled to play during High-A Lucie’s match against the Phillies’ Clearwater Threshers on Sunday.
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.