It seems as though Cameron Maybin is older than he really is, but he turns 30 early into the 2017 season. In 2016, he attempted to pick up where he left off in 2015, but issues with his wrist, quad, and thumb throughout the season limited him to 391 plate appearances. When he did play, he hit a career-high .315 while also setting a career-high walk rate and slugging percentage. Maybin also scored 65 times despite the limited playing time thanks to a .383 on base percentage. With a career 2.14 GB/FB ratio that is showing no sign of dropping in recent seasons, a return to double-digit homers is unlikely. Health is the big issue here as it's holding him back from maximizing on his production during his peak years. Of course, health does not improve with age, but he managed to rack up 555 plate appearances in 2015 with Atlanta, which is likely his ceiling even as an everyday player for the Angels after he was acquired from the Tigers in November.
The Angels are unsure of where they will place Maybin in the lineup, but he is under consideration to serve as the team's leadoff hitter, the Orange County Register reports. In 2016, the Angels used a combination of Yunel Escobar (130 games), Kole Calhoun (26), Johnny Giavotella (4) and Andrelton Simmons (2) atop the order to generate a .293/.345/.391 line with 91 runs scored. Maybin had a career-high 9.2 percent walk rate in 2016 and finished with a .383 OBP, which would make him an upgrade to a relative strength, and give him an opportunity to be a significant contributor in runs scored, in addition to his potential for double-digit homers and 20-plus steals. Health continues to be the biggest hurdle for Maybin, however, as he's eclipsed 100 games just once in the last four seasons (2015). The final decision on Maybin's lineup placement may hinge on the Angels' ability to find an upgrade at second base this winter.
Maybin was traded from the Tigers to the Angels on Wednesday, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. The Angels agreed to pick up Maybin's $9 million option, likely a move the Tigers weren't willing to make. He's expected to start in left field for Los Angeles next season, a weak spot filled by Rafael Ortega and Jefry Marte (among others) in 2016. The Tigers will receive right-handed pitcher Victor Alcantara as part of the deal.
Maybin will likely be traded to the Angels, who will pick up his option for the 2017 season, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Maybin posted career-best numbers at the plate last season, but there was simply no room for him in the Tigers organization as they attempt to cut their payroll. Now in Los Angeles, the 29-year-old is expected to slot in as the Angels left fielder alongside Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun, filling a huge hole in the Angels lineup.
Maybin went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI singles and two runs in Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Royals. The outfielder's line is up to .321/.388/.424 following Saturday's production, which also marked the fifth consecutive game in which he's hit safely. Maybin has multi-hit efforts in four of those contests, and has driven in two runs apiece over the first pair of games against the Royals. Despite appearing in only 86 games to date this season, Maybin is now just two RBI from equaling the second-best total of his career in that category, which he established over 147 contests with the Padres in 2012.
Maybin (thumb) is back in the lineup Friday against the Indians, batting second and playing center field. Maybin sat out of Thursday's contest to rest his ailing thumb, but it seems that it's back to full strength and game-ready. The outfielder will slot back into the top third of Detroit's order, and should continue to do so as long as his thumb doesn't act up again.