On August 31st of last year (the trade deadline of the 2020 MLB season), the Chicago Cubs traded minor league infielder Zack Short to the Tigers for outfielder Cameron Maybin. And in 56 plate appearances down the stretch, Maybin slashed .250/.304/.365 while covering all three outfield spots as needed.
Tonight, we learn that Maybin has re-signed with the Cubs on a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp in 2021:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 20, 2021
Like Brett said at the time of that initial acquisition: “Maybin, 33, has emerged in recent years as just one of those steady, solid, perfectly useful players who could fit on almost any team. He can play all over the outfield, has decent speed, and contributes at the plate….”
No, he didn’t crush it with the Cubs in 2020, but that all still holds true in theory. And with a limited outfield picture beyond the starters (Joc Pederson, Ian Happ, and Jason Heyward), who are certainly more vulnerable to left-handed pitching than most collective starting outfields in the league, Maybin could win himself a place on this roster if he looks good, healthy, and productive this spring.*
*Though now that I look into it, Maybin has actually been worse against lefties (85 wRC+) than righties (98 wRC+) throughout his career, and that was especially true in 2019, when he finished the season with a 142 wRC+ against righties (181 PAs) and a 96 wRC+ against southpaws (88 PAs).
But in the meantime, on a minor league deal, there’s next to no risk. So this is all just swell. More tomorrow.