As we continue to explore various free-agent options for the San Francisco Giants, it’s time for a closer look at outfielder Cameron Maybin.
The question of whether or not the San Francisco Giants should consider signing Cameron Maybin is one that hinges on how you feel about the internal outfield options who could return for the 2020 season.
In particular, how you feel about the potential return of Kevin Pillar.
With more pressing needs for a team that has always tried to spend judiciously, there isn’t a need for both.
As someone who enjoyed seeing some power numbers come from center field for the first time in a long time, I personally would rather see Pillar return to Oracle Park next year, even at a projected salary of almost $10 million.
Maybin, who had a WAR of 1.5 last season, is a little older than the 29-year-old Pillar at the age of 32. He could also come with a higher price tag than Pillar, depending on the level of interest that Maybin ultimately receives.
In addition to Pillar looking like the smarter investment in some ways, there’s also the fact that Maybin has indicated that he doesn’t want to leave the New York Yankees.
It’s a move that makes sense for him. After struggling to find a team in the wake of a lackluster 2018 season that was split between the Miami Marlins and the Seattle Mariners, Maybin signed on with San Francisco in February. However, the Giants responded to a DUI arrest by releasing the outfielder, leaving him to sign a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians.
Buried in the minors in Cleveland, Maybin was traded to the Yankees on April 25 to provide depth to an injury-ravished New York outfield.
Maybin was solid for the Yanks, batting .285 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI while playing a little more than half the season in the majors for New York. His trademark speed wasn’t on display much this season as he only stole nine bases in 2019, but he was still a solid contributor.
Maybin’s interest in the Yankees is clear, but the team’s interest in a reunion could be minimal. The Yankees will hopefully have a healthier version of Giancarlo Stanton, along with Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks.
With Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman also in the mix for playing time, there are other in-house options to fill out the outfield contingent.
Still, a resurgent Maybin should find plenty of suitors in the form of teams looking for a solid starting center fielder or even a platoon outfielder, provided he’s open to being a team’s fourth option.
A bounce-back season will be good for Maybin’s pocketbook, but it could be enough to move him just out of the price range of what the Giants should be looking to pay.
I’m more excited to see the re-signed Pillar, the return of Mike Yastrzemski, and a battle for the third outfield spot between guys some of the in-house veterans like Alex Dickerson and the rising prospects.
If the Giants want to make a splash, I’d rather see them go after Yasiel Puig, assuming his locker is nowhere near Madison Bumgarner’s.
I’d even like to see Hunter Pence riding his scooter to Oracle Park once again, even though we can all agree the city has way too many scooters on the streets right now and that he should probably look at another quirky mode of transit. I’d suggest a unicycle.
Assuming the Giants do sign a free-agent outfielder, there are better fits for their needs than Maybin. And considering the team released him at one of the lowest points of his career, I wouldn’t blame him if the San Francisco Giants weren’t high on his preferred list of destinations this winter.