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Rangers may move on from Jeff Banister

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Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the rebuilding Rangers are considering moving on from manager Jeff Banister. Wilson notes that the Rangers aren’t sure if Banister is the right person to lead the club when they become competitive again. Additionally, Wilson notes that there have been some communication issues with Banister, such as not telling players when they’re getting a day off and suddenly inserting players into the lineup without notification. According to Wilson, some players feel their concerns have fallen on “deaf ears” when presented to Banister.

In four years under Banister, the Rangers have gone 325-313 (.509) overall. They went to the playoffs in 2015 and ’16 but lost in the Division Series to the Blue Jays both times, 3-2 and 3-0, respectively.

GM Jon Daniels said he is pleased with the way some players, namely Ronald Guzman, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, José Leclerc, and Jurickson Profar, have developed under Banister. But it remains to be seen if that will be enough to keep Banister in town.

Banister is under contract for the 2019 season, as the Rangers exercised his option last year.

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.