Zach Britton
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Zack Britton explains why he is no longer Zach Britton

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Last week Yankees reliever, Mr. Z. Britton, tweeted that he would, going forward, be known as “Zack” Britton and not “Zach” Britton as he has been known to the public for his entire professional career.  I thought about posting something at the time then figured, eh, it’s pretty minor. I’ll just mention something about it the first time he’s in the news for something this spring. But this story is too fun not to share.

I and a lot of people had a chuckle out of Britton’s tweet, wondering if he was just changing it on a whim, but it turns out it was the correction of a long-running mistake that was perpetuated, it seems, by a small error, inertia and, it would seem, Britton not being too hung up about how one’s name is spelled.

The upshot: he’s always, legally, been “Zackary,” which is “Zack,” and all of his legal documents have always said “Zackary,” but his parents called him “Zach” and told him the proper way to shorten it was “Zach,” so in non-legal settings — on the Orioles’ rosters, on baseball cards and places like that — it’s always been “Zach.”  His wife, who is an attorney, told him that it should probably be uniform everywhere so as to avoid potential confusion. So he and the Yankees agreed that he should now, properly, be listed as “Zack” everyplace.

As a “Craig” who gets called “Greg” an awful lot — and as the father of a son named “Carlo” who is invariably called “Carlos” by others — I can’t imagine being so blasé about it all, but I suppose Britton is just a way more chill dude.

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.