Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports that the Giants signed three minor league free agents this week: outfielder Justin Maxwell, left-handed starter Nik Turley, and right-handed reliever Cory Gearrin. You don't want to read my speech about Andres Torres, Gregor Blanco, Ryan Vogelsong, and Travis Ishikawa again, seeing as I already used that bullet when talking about Carlos Triunfel, but the Giants have done amazing things with minor league free agents in the last five years. This is an interesting batch, too.
Maxwell is someone I wanted the Giants to trade for before last season, a right-handed outfielder who can play all three outfield positions. He had a poor, injury-dampened season, though, spending most of it in the minors while the Royals were busy adding outfielders who run 40 mph to the major league roster. The 31-year-old has a career .224/.311/.417 line in the majors -- not great, but we're talking about free talent, here. I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the 40-man roster at some point, possibly even to start the season.
He has a moment in the sun, too:
Turley is a 25-year-old lefty who spent seven seasons starting in the Yankees' system. After promising seasons in 2012 and 2013, he had a touch of the Jonathan Sanchezes last year, walking more than six batter for every nine innings he pitched. Pinstripe Alley has a scouting report:
Listed at 6'4" and weighing in at 195 pounds, Turley is a large dude. Despite his size, Turley isn't considered a power pitcher, with his fastball averaging between 88-92 mph. He takes advantage of his size by pitching downhill and keeping the ball low in the strike zone. He also throws a curveball, which he can "throw for strikes or bury in the dirt," though Turley needs to work on his command. Additionally, Turley features a changeup which scouts say could be a good "out" pitch.
Got it. So basically Jon Lester. This offseason is gonna be a success either way!
Gearrin is a 28-year-old reliever who has been striking Triple-A hitters out at a high rate over the last two seasons, albeit with more than a handful of walks. He was on the Braves' major league roster from 2011 through 2013, getting into 77 games. He has a bit of a sidearm funk to him, which can lead to some nasty sinkers and sliders.
His sinker can apparently catch too much of the plate, though, especially against left-handed hitters.
"And the ball gets away from Uggla."
Which one will be the next Ryan Vogelsong? Probably all of them. Though even the next Brandon Hicks has a lot of value if you time it well enough. I'm particularly interested in Maxwell, who is like the Justin Christian of his generation. That can be a good thing.