Will Cameron Maybin Return in 2016?
At this point, that remains to be seen.
Were the Tigers not looking to shed salary, the obvious answer would be yes. Per Spotrac, Detroit has a $9 million club option on the outfielder’s contract for next season. That’s an extremely reasonable rate for a starting center fielder of Maybin’s quality.
However, the potential to buy out or trade Maybin remains one of the easiest ways for Detroit to clear money.
Should he return, the veteran will provide the Tigers with the perfect bridge to the future where the center field position is concerned.
With the 29-year-old on the team, Detroit would be able to develop JaCoby Jones at a more measured rate instead of throwing him into the starting lineup right away should Maybin depart.
Top prospect Derek Hill will likely force Jones off the position down the road, but Maybin’s presence would give Detroit some much-needed insurance in the outfield.
Should the Tigers look to deal the team’s former top draft pick, they could receive a premium return. Outside of Ian Desmond, Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler there isn’t too much to write home about in terms of free agents.
What’s more, Cespedes and Fowler aren’t locks to reach the open market. Both have options in their respective contracts ahead of next seasons.
In other words, if a team is in need of a center fielder and doesn’t want to hand a massive contract to Desmond or Cespedes, Maybin may be there best bet.