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Should the Cubs re-sign Cameron Maybin?

The late-season acquisition could be useful next year.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The answer to this question isn’t as simple as you might think.

The Cubs acquired Cameron Maybin at this year’s trading deadline for Zack Short, a prospect who does have some talent and who has a chance to make the Tigers roster in 2021.

That’s not the reason to keep him; I just place it here to note that the Cubs did give up something useful to get one month’s worth of Maybin’s performance.

Maybin is a former first round pick (10th overall) by the Tigers in 2005. He’s bounced around to multiple teams, including spending three different stints in Detroit, though he’s never been the first-round talent that the Tigers hoped he would be.

Maybin no longer has the baserunning speed he once did while stealing 40 bases for the Padres in 2011, though he did swipe 33 as recently as 2017.

But here’s the thing. The Cubs currently have just four outfielders on their 40-man roster: Albert Almora Jr., Ian Happ, Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber. Almora’s a prime non-tender candidate. Heck, Schwarber might be non-tendered, given MLB teams’ claims of revenue losses and debt. The Cubs need outfielders. They do have one good prospect in the system, Brennen Davis, but he didn’t play at all in 2020 due to the minor-league season being cancelled, and even if he had played he’s still likely a 2022 arrival in MLB.

Maybin is at the stage of his career where he wouldn’t likely cost much money to re-sign. He turns 34 in early April. His full salary for 2020 was just $1.5 million. In addition to playing decent outfield defense, he can be a useful bench player. He’s also known as a good clubhouse guy, and you can never have too many of those. He seems like a perfect choice for “fourth outfielder.”

I’d keep him around in 2021. It likely won’t cost too much.


Should the Cubs re-sign Cameron Maybin?

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