Maybin's return gives Tigers OF options

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Cameron Maybin, a former No. 1 pick of the Tigers (10th overall) who was traded away in the deal that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit, is back where he started.

Tigers general manager Al Avila acquired Maybin, primarily a center fielder, from the Braves Friday for left-handed pitchers Ian Krol and Gabe Speier.

The move most likely precludes the Tigers from re-signing free agent outfielder Rajai Davis, and sets up an interesting scenario for spring training. Anthony Gose was expected to be the club's center fielder in 2016. Will Gose move to left field? Will Maybin, a right-handed hitter, be platooned in left field (with Tyler Collins), as well as center, the way Davis was last season?

Those questions won't be answered until spring.

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"Cameron Maybin is a good outfielder with plenty of experience in center field," Avila said. "He is coming off of a solid offensive season in 2015 and brings speed and athleticism to our club. Brad Ausmus and the coaching staff will determine Cameron's role during spring training."

Avila didn't rule out the possibility of adding another outfielder, but given Maybin's salary, it's not likely. Maybin is scheduled to make $8 million in 2016, but the Braves are picking up $2.5 million of that contract.

Maybin is 28 and entering his 10th season. After playing three years with the Marlins and four with the Padres, he hit .267, scored 65 runs and hit a career-best 10 home runs with the Braves last year.

He also stole 23 bases and posted a .991 fielding percentage. He didn't score that well in advanced defensive metrics, however. Only Angel Pagan ranked worst in the big leagues in defensive runs saved (minus-16).

In sending Krol to the Braves, the Tigers no longer have any of the three players they got for Doug Fister before the 2014 season. Krol, despite an impressive pitch repertoire, never found his form with the Tigers.

He yo-yoed between the Tigers and Triple A Toledo the last two seasons, going 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA last year.

Speier, 20, who came to the Tigers in the Rick Porcello trade, was 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA with low A West Michigan last seasons. He had 36 strikeouts in 44 innings.