Extension Candidate: Cameron Maybin

Arbitration rewards sluggers, closers and above-average starters. Fleet-footed center fielders with modest power? Not so much. That’s why Cameron Maybin is a candidate for a modest extension with the Padres, even after a breakout season. The Padres will likely resume extension talks with the 24-year-old before long, so it’s a good time to look ahead to a possible long-term deal.

Cameron Maybin - Padres

After the 2011 season, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz empirically showed what teams and agents have known for some time: the one skill that really gets position players paid is power. Batting average and stolen bases “pale in importance to almighty home runs and RBI,” Swartz wrote. What’s more, position does not seem to matter much either. 

This is bad news for Maybin, a strong defensive center fielder who doesn’t hit for much power and calls Petco Park home. The 2005 first rounder will be undervalued through the arbitration process despite his contributions on offense and defense. 

Maybin posted a .264/.323./393 line in 2011 for a respectable 103 OPS+ and he plays better-than-average defense in center field, according to UZR/150 (+11.6 in ’11, +8.0 career). Though Maybin is an above-average player according to wins above replacement, the arbitration process won't recognize his defense, which will limit his leverage in extension talks.

Powerful outfielders such as Jay Bruce, Justin Upton and Carlos Gonzalez all signed extensions worth at least $50MM at similar stages in their careers, but Maybin’s not in line for that kind of deal, since he hasn't showed similar power in parts of five MLB seasons. His representatives may instead be looking to recent contracts for Franklin Gutierrez, Jose Tabata and Denard Span as points of reference.

Gutierrez, Tabata and Span, comparable offensive players to Maybin who also have experience in center field, all signed deals that bought out their three arbitration years and include options for free agent seasons. Maybin currently has more service time than Span and Tabata had when they signed and less service time than Gutierrez had when he signed, but their deals provide a possible framework for the Padres and Baratta Partners.

Span, Tabata and Gutierrez all signed deals that include club options and the Padres would presumably push for at least one option year if they extend their center fielder. A five-year deal along the lines of Gutierrez’s contract would guarantee Maybin more than $20MM. One possible scenario: $500K for 2012, his final pre-arbitration season, $2.5MM, $4MM and $6MM for his three arbitration seasons, $8MM for his first free agent year and an $8MM club option with a $500K buyout for a second free agent season. 

If the sides discuss an extension, as expected, they could explore any number of scenarios, but a five-year deal in the $21-22MM could work for both sides in my opinion. Maybin would get the security of a long-term deal and the Padres would extend their control over a player who’s more valuable than the arbitration process would indicate.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.

39 Responses to Extension Candidate: Cameron Maybin Leave a Reply

  1. Jose_Bautista 3 years ago

    He is a decent player.

    • tdot32 3 years ago

      maybe in the 90 foot dash. all he’s really good for is running.

      • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

        what are you on ?   dude is 24 and is just discovering how good he can be , maybe yu dont remember he was a top prospect at 20 and then brought up sent down and generally screwed over by the marlins who are generally good with prospects but the maybin fiasco was there worst move in a long time

        • Rangersfan32 3 years ago

          Being a former top prospect doesn’t mean anything in an argument. They’re hit or miss, usually miss, so that’s not a great point. But I do agree, he’s a solid CF.

          • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

            i was just trying to point out that he was well thought of not to long ago ,

        • tdot32 3 years ago

          top 20 prospect means nothing. he needs to get on base a lot more before i count him as more than just a guy who can run.

          • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

            i was trying to say he had been well thought of in the past and has all the tools to be an allstar

    • Drew Tweedie 3 years ago

      4.7 fWAR is decent? I guess you could say Jose Bautista is above average, by that logic.

      • Guest 3 years ago

        Brett Gardner posts similiar stats only he knows how to take a walk, yet nobody talks about him, he would be in center but is blocked.

  2. I am telling you the Orioles and Padres should hook up for the trade. I would be all for it. Also, I can’t believe the Chargers are keeping both AJ Smith and Norv Turner. There should be an investigation. Spanos is as incompetent as Angelos as an owner. Chargers had Super Bowl written all over them a few years back and now it’s over!

    • Ohhhplease 3 years ago

      Move to a football site…..What trade should the Pads and Orioles hook up for ??  They are not going to move Maybin…..

  3. I’ wouldn’t offer Maybin an extension after 1 decent season, but that seems to be the trend nowadays.

    • Yes, but if he ends up doing notably better in 2012 he’ll cost more for an extension. Say he breaks out with a .280/.340/.430 slash with 40 steals, a Gold Glove, and 15 bombs. Suddenly an extension just got much more expensive. But if he stays the same or even regresses a tad he’ll still likely be worth the money they’ll be paying him. It’s a risk for both sides, but probably a bigger risk for Maybin if it includes FA years.

  4. jwick18 3 years ago

    I will remember this article when bourn hits FA at the end of the year

    • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

      bourn is better right now , but maybin might have a better upside

      • jwick18 3 years ago

        no doubt… but the part about what gets position players paid is power. also the part about the position not paying any more or less. boras will want paid for him being all of that.

        • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

          are they both boras clients ?  for sure bourn gets paid bigtime, boras will compare him to ricky henderson and talk about how he affects the future of the franchise in momentous fashion and some gm bites an overpays 

    • jwick18 3 years ago

      ohh I have no clue who is maybins agent. I just like how average and speed is not what rewards the player as said above. which I wish was true but its not

      • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

        too true , but i think borass will get money from somebody, even if it isnt what normally gets a player paid 

  5. redsx968 3 years ago

    I honestly think they should explore trade options. Not saying they should absolutely trade him, but see what they can get. He’s promising for sure, but I just don’t see a long-term extension working out there. I think he is pretty overvalued.

    • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

      you must work for padres front office exploring all these trade options 

    • Guest 3 years ago

      actually you have a point….go ahead and see what you can get for upside that hasen’t really shown yet….it’s worth a look anyway

    • Drew Tweedie 3 years ago

      Maybin is the one player on the Padres that they should absolutely build around. 

      • Amish_willy 3 years ago

        Exactly! They’ve been at Petco since 2004 and Maybin is the best CF they’ve had in that time, and he hasn’t even entered his prime.
        Petco will make his numbers look more pedestrian, but his speed and defense make him a perfect fit.

        his splits in 2011:

        Home – .231/.294/.324 – 89 wRC
        Away – .294/.349/.457 – 134 wRC

        Looking at those numbers, I’d say it’s not that he’s overvalued, more that his numbers take a hit playing where he does. I would imagine the Marlins wish they would have looked elsewhere for a couple of middle relievers.

        A 5+1 deal would keep him in team control through his age 30 season. If the cost is 20-22m… I personally think that is a no-brainer!

        • Drew Tweedie 3 years ago

          Absolutely! A 6-year deal in the range of ~$4 MM per year would be a huge coup for the Padres.

      • Beersy 3 years ago

        Amen.  Maybin seems like a very good clubhouse guy to, from what I’ve seen, and with all of the youngsters presumably coming up in the next couple of years, having a young leader to show them the ropes would be great too.  At the very least the Padres will be getting GG caliber defense for the life of the extension, which may be even more important playing in Petco.  It seems as though Byrnes wants to bring in some power guys and Maybin will have to cover even more ground out there.

        • Drew Tweedie 3 years ago

          Maybin is gonna be covering a lot of extra ground with Quentin in LF. I think he’s up to it though.

          • Beersy 3 years ago

            What do you think of this Rizzo deal? Seems like Byrnes gave him away.

  6. I think I’m with most people on this. I don’t see why you commit 20 million plus to a player who had one good year. Wait a year and see what happens.

    • vonhayesdays 3 years ago

      if the padres wait and he has a good year , they wont be able to afford him , so gamble and sign great player for little money and reap the rewards at the trade deadline .    hot hand in the dice game !

  7. I think Maybin is just scratching the surface of the kind of player he is.  This next full year will be telling to see if he can be a consistent contributor on the major league level and hopefully his stats will trend upward. 

    • Drew Tweedie 3 years ago

      Even if he were to repeat his production of last year to a T, I would be enamored. Great, great showing so far.

    • hartvig 3 years ago

      The first players that came to my mind were another ex-Tiger, Milt Cuyler and former Astro Gerald Young. Their age 22 and 23 seasons respectively are comparable to Maybin’s last year, especially Young’s. I can’t imagine that either of their teams would have be happy if they had committed to either player for 5 years.

  8. Jay LeBlanc 3 years ago

    Give him back to Detroit for Austin Jackson and Andy Oliver.

  9. JLaw 3 years ago

    Maybin delivers precisely what I’d want out of a prototypical CF. He’s a rare breed of outstanding defense, good baserunning, and a good BA/OBP. I’d love to have such a young talent and he is seriously UNDER-rated. This kid gets no respect!

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      Is this the second time recently I’ve seen a Rodney Dangerfield reference on MLBtr? 

      Win. Just win. 

  10. I don’t understand some of the comments.  Not sure if you are Padres fans or not but as a fan, I’d like to see the Pads sign this guy to a decent contract.  It seems like our new GM is making sincere efforts in improving this team with the changes he’s made thus far.  Maybin is young and very talented.  He can relate to the younger plays due to his age and act as a role model at the same time.  I’ve seen the Pads play in SD several times.  He’s one of the reasons I go.  Keep him Mr. GM and keep up the good work. I’ll be there next season to support the team.

  11. Maybin has good raw power. That was really his first full year playing everyday and I think he has much more to offer offensivly. I’d also say that he only hit 2 of his 9 HR’s at home. So, I don’t think its far fetched to say he was hindered by Petco and that will be taken into consideration.

    Case in point, Chase Headley.

    If Maybin was in a neutral park he would have been in double digit HR’s easy. probabaly closer to 14-15 then 9 in the hitters grayveyard in Petco.

    Maybin’s the one Padres I would extend like yesterday!

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