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Mets won’t play David Wright against Braves because Atlanta is fighting for home field advantage

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On Tuesday, the Mets activated third baseman David Wright from the 60-day disabled list. The 35-year-old hasn’t played in a big league game since May 27, 2016 as he has been dealing with shoulder, neck, and back issues.

The Mets’ plan was to activate Wright today then start him on September 29, the penultimate game of the season. He was reportedly available to play in the Mets’ current series against the Braves, but SNY’s Andy Martino reports that isn’t the case. Assistant GM John Ricco said that it is “pretty unlikely” Wright appears in a game over the next three days. The reason is because the Mets know the Braves are fighting for home field advantage and don’t want to use Wright in a meaningful game. Everyone knows playing Wright is more of a stunt, meant to give him a proper send-off and a last hurrah for the fans.

The only problem with this line of reasoning is that the Mets carried José Reyes on the roster for the entire season. He has been terrible from the moment the season began, currently holding a .190/.263/.321 batting line. The Mets willingly started Reyes 46 times this season, including seven times against the Braves. The Mets have gone 4-12 against the Braves this year.

At one point during the season, the Mets were hoping Reyes — charged with domestic violence in 2015 — would hold a retirement news conference. He didn’t. So the Mets still carried him on the roster for some reason, playing him in games that were, ultimately, meaningful in some fashion.

The 88-68 Braves are three games behind the Cubs (91-65) and one and a half behind the Brewers (90-67) for the best record in the National League. The team that finishes with the best record faces the winner of the NL Wild Card game and gets home field advantage through the NLCS. So, yes, the Mets’ series with the Braves is meaningful, so too were their games with the Braves (and other teams) earlier this season when they had already given up all pretense of winning and willingly started Reyes.

The Mets, by the way, plan to start Reyes at shortstop to Wright’s left in his farewell game on Saturday, per James Wagner of the New York Times. How fitting.

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.