Closer Edwin Díaz closed out the ninth inning of Sunday against the Yankees, putting a 3-2 victory in the books for the Mariners. It’s the 54th save of the season for Díaz, the fifth-most all-time in a single season. Díaz had a little help, as Mitch Haniger made a terrific diving catch on a shallow Giancarlo Stanton fly ball to end the game.
The record for saves in a season is 62 held by Francisco Rodríguez, who accomplished the feat in 2008 with the Angels. Behind him are Bobby Thigpen (57, 1990 White Sox), Éric Gagné (55, 2003 Dodgers), John Smoltz (55, 2002 Braves), and now Díaz.
Along with the 54 saves, Díaz owns a 1.84 ERA with a 118/16 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. His rate of 15.54 strikeouts per nine innings is ninth-highest in baseball history among pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings in a season. Unsurprisingly, all 14 player-seasons with a 15 or better K/9 have occurred since 2010. Aroldis Chapman has the highest rate, averaging 17.67 strikeouts per nine over 54 innings with the Reds in 2014.
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.