Will the Braves trade Maybin? I doubt it

Cameron Maybin, shown here in a lesser moment. (AP Photo/Jon Barash)

Atlanta Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin (25) throws his bat after striking out in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday, July 5, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jon Barash)

There hasn’t been much frustration for Cameron Maybin as a Brave. (AP Photo/Jon Barash)

ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted this Monday and, given the Atlanta Braves’ penchant for selling competent outfielders, the “perception” makes some sense.

The Braves have gotten way more than they expected from Cameron Maybin, acquired on the eve of Opening Day in the Craig Kimbrel/Melvin Upton Jr. trade with San Diego. They figured he’d be a fourth outfielder, which is what he’d become for the Padres, and share center field with Eric Young Jr.

Well, Young is long gone and CF is all CM’s, and he leads the Braves, according to Baseball Reference, in offensive WAR (wins above replacement) at 2.0. His defensive WAR value is assessed at minus-1.2, which is the worst on the club, but defensive numbers can be inexact. The greater point is that the Braves thought they were getting a fourth outfielder and got an everyday center fielder. That’s a windfall.

Maybin’s on-base and slugging percentages (.367 and .417, respectively) mark a career best. So is his batting average (.297). His strikeout percentage has shrunk to 17.9, his lowest over any full season. When the Padres came to town last month, those who follow the team were amazed at how much better Maybin looked.

Even so, at least some Braves higher-ups were wary. When a guy has been in the majors this long and is only now having a season this good, you wonder if it’s a breakout or a blip. Indeed, Fredi Gonzalez managed Maybin as a Marlin, when he was regarded as one of baseball’s top 10 prospects. It’s not as if people never thought the guy had talent. The talent just didn’t coalesce.

Maybin’s contract isn’t awful: He’s making $7 million this season; he’ll make $8 million next year and $9 million in 2017. (There’s a team option for the final season.) That makes him attractive not just to the Braves but to any contender looking for outfield help at the trade deadline, which arrives July 31. The catch, however, is that the Braves still count — mathematically if not quite realistically — as contenders. They’re five games out of first place and one game below .500.

There’s also this: If the Braves should trade Maybin, there’s no other center fielder at the ready. The infielder Jose Peraza has been getting time in the outfield for Gwinnett, but trading a veteran CF and installing a transplanted rookie isn’t a move a contender can make in good conscience. (Mallex Smith just got promoted to Gwinnett from Mississippi and isn’t yet primed for the big leagues.)

That said, the Braves have been creative in their approach to trades. They forced the Padres to take M. Upton’s contract in the Kimbrel deal, and they bought the prospect Touki Toussaint from Arizona for the $10 million it will take to buy out Bronson Arroyo. The Braves are also hot to dump Chris Johnson, who has lost his job to the journeyman Jose Uribe, and this knowledge prompted Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports to broker a theoretical deal with the Giants:

Frankly, I don’t see that happening. Pagan and Peavy are owed $26.25 million next season, which is an awful lot of salary to absorb. (It’s essentially two more years of Dan Uggla.) Pagan is a center fielder by trade, but he’s also 33 — Maybin is 28 — and having a terrible year. (WAR value of minus-0.6.)

This figured to be a fairly simple season: The Braves would stink and be sellers at the break. We on the outside wouldn’t like it, but for long-range-planning purposes it would make sense. Thing is, the Braves haven’t stunk. They’ve been competitive. As much as Johns Hart and Coppolella have plunged into rebuilding, it’s hard to imagine them dumping Maybin as long as the team is this close, give or take.

Opponents may think the Braves will wind up trading Maybin, but even Olney doesn’t expect that to happen, at least not as things stand. We close with another Buster tweet.

Reader Comments 1

45 comments
Blairie
Blairie

I think Buster and Ken are just blowing smoke up our A** ....Maybin is not costing us a lot (yet) he plays hard we need  8 more on the field just like him with his drive and 100% every day 


Bit me Buster and Ken

BigMikeyDawg
BigMikeyDawg

I just finished this article, and on cue, CM hits a three run homer!

4DaBirds
4DaBirds

Trade Maybin if you can get greater value for him. Just don't make a lateral move, especially if there is no one in the farm to replace him next year. I realize that the organization wants to replenish the farm and add more pitching, but Maybin is still young and could be a great asset for several more seasons.  

Kevin Sheets
Kevin Sheets

@4DaBirds Disagree. Especially when you don't have a replacement for him. You also have to ask what can you honestly expect to get in return for 3 months of quality play?

I could see them trading him in offseason if they find a replacement but thats it.

reckingball
reckingball

Trading Maybin would not make any sense. If he keeps up this level of play,  he IS a player that can help the Braves "win it all", if not this year, then perhaps next year, or 2017.

BLowE12
BLowE12

Look Folks, This Braves team is playing well, yes, but they are not built to win it all. Knowing that it wouldn't be all that unbelievable for them to trade any player to potentially make us that team that CAN win it all.


With that knowledge IF a team came to the Braves with a "You can't pass up on this" Offer it would be silly not to entertain the offer. 


With that said, The Deal mentioned in this article sucks eggs!

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@BLowE12  Agree on all counts.  Why would we trade for two players obviously on the downside of their careers?

Atlbankruptcylawyer
Atlbankruptcylawyer

I don't understand our mindset anymore . . . Are we a farm team?  . . . Is our objective to develop players, trade them as they reach their prime, and then develop more players??????

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@Atlbankruptcylawyer  We went into this year thinking of the future, but this team has played better than expectations, and the Nationals aren't exactly running away with the division, so who knows?

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

Braves' 2016 outfield:

LF: Cameron Maybin

CF: Mallex Smith

RF: Nick Markakis

Long-term upgrades needed at 3B and C; more depth needed for bullpen.

Future looks bright !

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

Maybin . "I love being a Atlanta Brave, if it is my power I will be a Atlanta Brave for a long long time."  I love this team, Maybin may be a steal for a long haul in Atlanta even though he is turning heads from a lot of other teams

58Supersports
58Supersports

Cameron just got his 40th rbi..with triple....

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Center Field has been the black hole of the team ever since Andrew Jones left,  until Maybin.  I love the way he plays and the energy he brings.  He replaced Melvin, who was the worst MLB player that played a full season, last year.  Center Field has been a major upgrade for the Braves, however, never pass up a big profit.  It is like a stock when it reaches higher than your wildest dreams, you better sell, or be prepared for heartbreak.  It is like winning a big poker pot and suddenly feeling rich, but continuing to play, only to lose everything.  


The Braves have no chance at playoff success, if they were to make it.  Build the team until you think you have a chance and then go all in. 

gfw
gfw

I love Maybin, like so many others, so ditto to what's already been said about the virtues of keeping him. But the reason Mark's analysis is faulty is that it is all predicated on the Braves being a possible contender this year.  Look at the standings, and our team, and tell me what you think the odds are they get a wild card slot.  Seriously, what would you say?  10%?  20%?  So if that's the case, we have to be building.  Buy low, sell high.  Makes sense to get the premium for Maybin right now.

reckingball
reckingball

@gfw Look at how much of the season is left. Look at the pitching the Braves have. Look at the NLEast.

4DaBirds
4DaBirds

@gfw With the current roster, I'd say the wild card is not going to happen. However, with some bullpen help acquired before the deadline, then I'd give the Braves a 50% chance as there are a lot of teams in the NL that are very much like the Braves in terms of needing help somewhere. And winning the division is not out of the question with the Nats and their injury woes.

58Supersports
58Supersports

He is a keeper at least this year....Love the way he plays 100% and heart. Best player on team right now and should have made All-Stars...Also a great smile!

BobInSF
BobInSF

Could see Maybin eventually moving to LF making room for Smith or even Peraza. Barves LFers have not been very good this season.

reckingball
reckingball

Even if a team is rebuilding, they still need some product to put on the field to entertain the folks that have paid for the tickets and buy the goods of the TV advertisers. Maybin is a very good and entertaining player, I would like to see him stay with the Braves through the rest of his contract.

SirSoSmooth
SirSoSmooth

I hope we don't trade him but if the right opportunity presents itself and we have the chance to gain valuable prospects in return and/or unload CJ I'm cool with it. I think Hart has done a phenomenal job so far and sometimes you have to make difficult decisions that are gonna piss people off

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

Keep Maybin in Atlanta, he wants to be there so his work ethic is tireless. 

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

No more dumping of outfielders please!

Where do you guy's come up with this stuff? We are not trading Baseball Cards.


The Braves need Maybin regardless if he is hitting 220.


He is a pretty good Center Fielder and with him they are strong up the middle which is exactly what the young pitchers need.


What we need to do is trade you to the LA Times.

kerryb
kerryb

I think Maybin finally got with the right hitting coach in Kevin Seitzer.  Maybin loved his approach when he came over and bought into what he was doing and success followed.  I don't think its a blip, I think Seitzer has turned his career around.  I think the Braves should hang on to him for a while he's only 28.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

Will happen in off season in part to show Braves want to appear relevant during season.

Grilli on the other hand will be the means to saying buh bye to C. Johnson.

Folty @ closer?

TomGaff
TomGaff

Are you CRAZY about trading Maybin, he's one of the best this season! Seems to have found himself with the Braves? I'm still peeved about trading Evan Gattis(aka White Bear) for two minor league guys who will probably never make it above AA ball and wild-man Folty. Folty has a good fastball and nothing else. Back and forth between AAA Gwinnett and the Braves is my opinion! Gattis has 15 HRS, 51 RBI'S, .245 BA mostly hitting DH with an occasionally LF play(where he has been at least decent with only 1 error!. Remember I said get him out from behind the plate and let's see what he could do, but no, I know nothing about the game according to some of you GM's! What kind of stats has our LF guys put up? Don't forget Gattis only cost $600K(which is chicken feed in the ML)! Stupid is as stupid does!!!!!!!!!!!!

SeanLB
SeanLB

@TomGaff He can't start every day in the OF.  We tried that.


I don't understand why people don't get that some players are just DHs.  If you want to be bitter, be bitter that NL teams are at a disadvantage by not having a DH.  Don't be bitter at the Braves for moving a DH out of a league that doesn't have one...c'mon man...

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@SeanLB @TomGaff  Sean, he has been Gaff's mancrush all along.  Gaff bet that no player that we got in return for Gattis would make it to MLB.  Folty made it, and he will be back, but Gaff doesn't understand that Gattis can't play defense AND play 130 games.  He's a DH.

  Ohhh, he also said that he would follow the twins this year because they have his other mancrush: Jordan Schafer

TomGaff
TomGaff

@PalmBeachFalcon @SeanLB @TomGaff Hey knucklehead, who cares if Gattis cannot play good D if he hits say .270, 35 HRS, with 110 RBI's this season at Houston. I would take 15-20 errors in LF for that kind of production. All these singles hitters we have that get on base and no big stick to drive them in. No man crush here dude, just Fair & Balanced type guy! But I was right about his production out from behind the C position, at least admit that? As for Schafer, I liked the way he played the game always hustling. But he ran into too many OF walls and diving for balls. Got injuried and his game suffered. Was cut loose by Twins when they decided to go with younger players and him not playing well! Well you just got my explanations, Beach Boy!! This is what I would have considered(?), put Gattis with his big bat at 1B and move Freddie to LF(he might just be athletic enough to make it work). Should have at least looked at it in spring training! Gattis with a $600K salary(chicken feed in MLB) is hitting like a 10 Million dollar player!! My opinion and probably not many others agree?

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

@TomGaff @PalmBeachFalcon @SeanLB  Freeman in LF?  You're a lost cause.  And if you'd be OK with 15-20 errors from an outfielder, I've really got nothing for you.  And Gattis is not hitting .270, it's actually .249, and he's on pace for 28 HR in a veeeery friendly hitter's park.  Nothing like playing 81 games at Turner Field.

TomGaff
TomGaff

@PalmBeachFalcon @TomGaff @SeanLB Look Beach Boy, you need to keep the sun off your bald head out there, it must be giving you brain damage. I never said he was hitting .270( I thought he may finish season around that number though), you are right, he is hitting .249 now with, 12 doubles, 4 triples(thought that was a misprint but apparently accurate), 14 HRS, 51 RBI's. Those stats would be best on our team by far. Don't forget he started season at Houston 0-21( my guess is a new city and learning as a young player to be a DH caused a slow start)1 with 14 SO's(thought BJ might have influenced him somehow then) and has progressed steady to .249 BA now. To me that is impressive! Look his HRS would most of the time go out of the Grand Canyon Park! If we had got a bonifide ML player in return , I would have felt better about the deal instead of giving him away for three marginal prospects! Also I don't really think he would have made 15-20 errors in LF, probably more like 8-10 for season, IN MY OPINION! Perhaps you know more about the Falcons than the Braves, see you on that blog soon.

TomGaff
TomGaff

@SeanLB @TomGaff Just for kicks I decided to look it up on the MLB site. In 2013 when Gattis played LF, he made 4 errors in 48 games. In comparison, Justin Upton in LF made 8 errors in 150 games in 2014! Not much difference to me, how about you? They both seem to carry the big stick. Gattis needs to lose about 25 lbs if you ask me, but 4 triples in 2015 in Houston, seems ridiculous!

CowbellHell
CowbellHell

There is no way we trade Maybin this year, pencil him in at CF for this year and 2016 at least...another great  move by Hart, bravo.

AtlantaSportsVictory
AtlantaSportsVictory

The Braves are right to try to sell high, who knows if Maybin can keep this up.But I would deal him only if we could also offload Chris Johnson (HORRIBLE contract extension, thanks Wren. what were you thinking???????). 

freezboy
freezboy

he will be our starting cf until injury or end of season....after that its a crap shoot....

Salty55
Salty55

Perhaps Maybin's finally figured it out.  There was a lot I hadn't figured out by 28....and my wife would say, even by 38!  


It would be one thing if he were Pagan's age and having this year, but the guy seems to be in a really good place now...keep riding him!

LegalBeagle3
LegalBeagle3

Im a big proponent of sell high, BUT I think we may have something in Maybin and at an affordable price for what he has done this year.  The stats are there PLUS Personality-wise, he's everything we wanted Heywad and the Uptons to be--the friendly face of the franchise who loves Atl and WANTS to be here!  I'm not so quick to get rid of that.

Gil 'n Mechanicsvile
Gil 'n Mechanicsvile

In today's world, getting a young pitcher post Tommy John is like buying a factory reconditioned TV, they have already replace the defective parts that a particular model is known for. TJ today is not an if, it's a when. Perhaps it is a result of too many young kids trying to throw 95 plus when they really could cruise at 90 per. No matter, enjoy while you can. You only have the collusion of the owners to thank.

DogTheMan
DogTheMan

Par for the course.. Trade productive players!!! UGH!!

CowbellHell
CowbellHell

@DogTheMan dude get off the ledge, they havent traded him yet AND its BRadley reporting

Decaturian
Decaturian

sell high item, so the Braves would only take like minimum four minor league phenom pitchers all recently having TJ....got it. If we have a 12 man rotation in 2017 our staff will be so well rested if we make the playoffs. 

Gil 'n Mechanicsvile
Gil 'n Mechanicsvile

The possible trade you mentioned with the Giants is not what one could reasonably expect as a great return for Maybin of 2015. The work  environment of any profession is important when it comes to the quality of the work produced. Don't think so? Ask anyone who dreads getting up and going to work in any job if they reasonable expect to produce a good product that day. More likely, they will think of a hundred reasons for not going to work vs only one to report, that one being a paycheck... Cameron is in his happy place for the fist time since leaving high school. Take advantage of that Braves fans for as long as you can, Maybin may well be traded but it won't be for a bag of balls and some used bats. He is finally of an age when outfielders use to come into their own in the pre steroid era. 

seminoleking
seminoleking

If the braves trade maybin, im OFFICIALLY done with them............All those pitchers they have drafted, the ones they have traded for etc. Why get peavy or another starting pitcher, when they have all these other prospects they can develop and KEEP maybin as the future centerfielder??

Trackbacks

  1. […] This was a team that some — I was among that number — believed could lose 100 games. They’re on pace to finish 80-82, which would actually be an upgrade from last season’s 79-83. That’s if they don’t slump before the trading deadline and start dumping players like Cameron Maybin, of whom we were speaking just the other day. […]