ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Giants have had contract discussions with free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin. Olney notes that adding Maybin would give the Giants a safety net in center field and would pair well with the left-handed-hitting Steven Duggar.
Maybin, 31, started the year with the Marlins but was traded to the Mariners ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Between both clubs, Maybin hit .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 28 RBI, 32 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 384 plate appearances.
The Giants have also been linked with free agent superstar Bryce Harper. The recently released PECOTA projections from Baseball Prospectus foresee the Giants as a fifth-place, 74-88 team. As has become the trend in recent years, teams tend not to shell out big-money contracts when the marginal value of an extra few wins isn’t high. It seems more likely the Giants end up with a Maybin or Maybin-type than Harper. Get excited, Giants fans.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.