On Saturday the San Diego Padres and center fielder Cameron Maybin officially agreed to a five-year contract worth $25 million. It appears, for once, the Padres were actually willing to open up the checkbook and lock a young talent up for a long time.
Maybin will turn 25 on April 4 and is coming off of a career year, during which he had a slash line of .264/.323/.393, played Gold Glove-caliber defense in center and belted nine home runs while stealing 40 bases.
The deal buys out all of Maybin’s arbitration years and covers his first year of free agency. The Padres will also own a an option year that will extend through Maybin’s second year of free agency.
While Maybin has had trouble making consistent contact in the past, he also hadn’t ever been given a chance to play every day until the Padres made him their starting center fielder last season, playing him in 137 games. Before 2011, his career-high for games played was 82.
Maybin’s defense is the real reason he has become so valuable to the Padres. He covers as much ground as any outfielder in the game, and at Petco Park that is a necessity. Seriously, watch how far he goes to get this line drive, it’s insane.
Maybin came to San Diego in a trade with the Florida Marlins on November 13, 2010. All the Padres had to surrender in exchange for the supremely talented outfielder was relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica. That trade is looking like a steal.
In the long run, given Maybin’s age and raw talent, this deal could end up being a bargain for San Diego.