Detroit Tigers: Reexamining Cameron Maybin Trade

Detroit Tigers general manager made one of the most underrated moves of the offseason when he acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin from Atlanta. Maybin has excelled in Detroit.

Detroit Tigers center fielder Cameron Maybin has had quite the impact in his return to the organization that drafted him.

Acquired in an offseason deal from Atlanta for a pair of pitchers in Ian Krol and Gabe Speier, Maybin evolved into a top-of-the-order catalyst for Brad Ausmus’ club.

Despite seeing his season shortened by injuries, the 29-year-old is thriving when on the field for Detroit.

Entering Saturday, Maybin is hitting .322 with a .388 on-base percentage. in addition to those excellent numbers, the outfielder has tacked on 65 runs scored, 43 RBI, 15 stolen bases, 14 doubles, five triples and four home runs.

He’ did all this in just 92 games.

On the season, only Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez own a higher wRC+ number than Maybin’s 124. What’s more, the former first-round pick is third on the team in WAR and fourth in wOBA.

Not on does Maybin show well when compared to the rest of the Detroit lineup, but he’s also been one of the better center fielders in baseball.

Of all center fielders with at least 350 plate appearances, Maybin ranks seventh in wRC+ at 124. Some notable players at the position with a lower wRC+ include Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew McCutchen, Ian Desmond, Adam Jones, Lorenzo Cain and Ender Inciarte.

Detroit’s center fielder also ranks eighth at his position in wOBA, ahead of many of the player listed above. Only Mike Trout and Dexter Fowler own higher on-base percentages among center fielders.

Maybin returns with the Tigers to Atlanta, where he hit .267 with 65 runs scored, 59 RBI, 23 stolen bases, 18 doubles, 10 home runs and two triples. He previously batted .288 with a .752 OPS in 69 games at Turner field last season.

What Detroit Gave Up

In order to bring in Maybin, the Tigers gave up two pitchers in Ian Krol and Gabe Speier.

Krol was acquired as part of the Doug Fister deal and made 78 appearances in a Detroit uniform. Those 78 appearances spanned 60.2 innings pitched. During that time, the reliever struck out 54 in 60.2 innings while walking 30.

Despite solid strikeout numbers, Krol simply allowed for too many runs. The former National allowed 42 runs (36 earned). Because of that his ERA and FIP numbers—5.34 and 5.18 respectively—weren’t much to write home about.

Speier, who was brought in as part of the deal involving Rick Porcello, Yoenis Cepedes and Alex Wilson, was later flipped to Arizona in the Shelby Miller blockbuster. In 58.1 innings spent playing for four different minor league teams in Arizona’s organization, Speier has pitched to a 2.62 ERA. He struck out 49 while only walking 20.

In Conclusion

While Krol is throwing quality innings as one of Atlanta’s top setup men, and Speier is pitching well in the Diamondbacks organization, the Detroit Tigers won this deal.

Maybin is posting excellent numbers in center while providing Detroit with a top of the order catalyst that the team hasn’t had in a number of seasons. At just 29-years-old, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Cameron Maybin stick around for the long haul in the Motor City.

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