Longtime major league outfielder Cameron Maybin announced his retirement this evening. The 34-year-old appeared in fifteen major league seasons, suiting up with ten different clubs between 2007-21. He spent the bulk of that time — four seasons apiece — with the Padres and Marlins.
“I’ve played this game since I was 4 years old,” Maybin wrote as part of his announcement, the full text of which is available on Twitter. “Three decades later, my love for baseball is only matched by the love I have for the family that’s supported me every step of the way. … Although my journey as a professional baseball player ends here with the announcement of my retirement, my work in this game is just getting started. I’m excited for what lies ahead, including my work with the Players Alliance in our effort to provide access and opportunity for the next generation of Black ballplayers.”
Maybin was a first-round pick back in 2005, selected tenth overall by the Detroit Tigers. At just 19 years old, Maybin made quick work of his minor league competition and drew praise from a number of publications. Baseball America regularly ranked the speedy outfielder among the top ten prospects in the game, doing so from 2007 until he exhausted prospect eligibility in 2009.
Though he made his Major League debut for the Tigers in 2007, a franchise-altering trade sent Maybin, along with a young Andrew Miller and others, to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Irregular playing time but continued minor league dominance made Maybin a target of another trade just a few years later, when the Padres acquired him to be their starting center fielder for relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica.
San Diego took well to their new center fielder, as Maybin broke out with a 40-steal, 103 OPS+ showing in his first year on the West Coast. That performance, combined with Maybin’s stellar glove up the middle, resulted in a 5-year $25MM extension before the 2012 season. Before the contract’s expiration, Maybin was dealt in yet another high-profile trade. In this deal, new Padres general manager A.J. Preller made his presence felt by acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel in an Opening Day-beating deal with the Braves.
After a year in Atlanta, Maybin bounced around between eight teams, providing clubs with speed and modest offense in the outfield and off the bench. During this stretch, Maybin had a resurgent year when he reunited with the Tigers in 2016, sporting a 118 OPS+ in 94 games. He pushed his offense to new heights in 2019, with a strong .285/.364/.494 (127 OPS+) showing in 82 games for an injury-ravaged Yankees team.
Maybin was set to look for 2022 opportunities as a veteran depth option for clubs. Instead, he’ll eschew a complicated free agent market and retire a career .254/.323/.374 hitter with 187 steals.
MLBTR congratulates Maybin on an excellent career, and wishes him the best of luck with his Players Alliance endeavors and elsewhere.