1:11pm: The Tigers have announced the deal. In order to open a spot on the 40-man roster, righty Michael Fulmer was placed on the 60-day injured list. It was reported a couple months back that Fulmer, the former AL Rookie of the Year, was expected to be out until July, so the 60-day IL placement shouldn’t come as a surprise.
This’ll be Maybin’s third stint with the Detroit organization, which selected him in the first round of the 2005 draft. He broke into the majors with the club in 2007 before being dealt to the Marlins as part of the Miguel Cabrera deal. Maybin returned for a productive single-season run in 2016.
There have been ups and downs over the years, but Maybin makes his way back to the Motor City on the upswing. He was waiting and hoping with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate last April when the injury-plagued Yankees came calling. Maybin ended up posting his best-ever season with the bat, slashing a hefty .285/.364/.494 with 11 home runs.
Maybin isn’t especially likely to repeat quite that output; he turned in consecutive 86 OPS+ finishes in the prior two seasons and rarely produced at better than the league-average rate. But he did shows some real changes in his batted-ball profile to support the improvement. Maybin’s barrel percentage vaulted to 10.2% from a prior high of 4.1%; he increased his launch angle to 11.1 degrees from a previous peak of 7.5. He also posted a career-best 88.8 mph average exit velocity and personal-high 16.9% HR/FB rate.
Even if there’s a step back offensively, Maybin figures to be a solid piece. He’s still fleet of foot, even if he won’t steal bases like he did in his youth, and capable of playing all three outfield positions. The Tigers certainly had a need for sturdy performers in an outfield unit that is filled with uncertainty. There’s also a good shot that Maybin will turn into a mid-season trade chip.