Detroit Tigers vice president of baseball operations Al Avila recently addressed his team's corner outfield situation by acquiring Cameron Maybin from the Atlanta Braves. Avila, who also serves as the Tigers' general manager, grabbed the center fielder in exchange for left-handers Ian Krol and Gabe Speier, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Detroit originally drafted Maybin in the first round in 2005; he was the 10th overall pick back then. He was eventually traded two years later to the Miami Marlins as part of the deal that brought the first baseman Miguel Cabrera to Detroit.
In 2015, 28-year-old Maybin delivered .267 hits with 10 home runs, 59 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases, some of the best stats in his nine major league seasons. He landed in Atlanta following a trade from the San Diego Padres. Maybin is due $8 million in 2016, $2.5 million of that will be sent from Atlanta to Detroit, according to sources familiar with the teams' agreement. The deal will supposedly allow the Braves to save about $4 million by adding a pair of minimum contracts.
Gabe Speier was 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA for Class-A West Michigan, with 36 strikeouts in a total of 44 innings. The 20-year-old was acquired by the Tigers during the past off-season's trade with the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
The other player handed over to the Braves is left-handed pitcher Ian Krol. The 24-year-old is reportedly a hard-throwing reliever who was not able to consistently command his pitches in his two seasons in Detroit. He recorded a 5.34 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in a total of 78 games. He has more than two years of service time, so he would not be eligible for free agency until after the 2019 season.
When asked for his comment on the Maybin trade, Avila said, "Cameron Maybin is a good outfielder with plenty of experience in center field. He is coming off of a solid offensive season in 2015 and brings speed and athleticism to our club." He added that Maybin's role would be determined when the team begin spring training.
The other major move that the Tigers general manager had implemented over the past week involved signing 33-year-old pitcher Francisco Rodriguez from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Another rumored trade that Detroit is supposed to undertake revolves around free agent Mark Lowe. The relief pitcher failed to join the Tampa Bay Rays' starting roster last year. He was then released and signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians. Lowe spent time shuffling between Triple-A Columbus and Cleveland but was then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in July.
Now, a new report from SB Nation suggests that Lowe might be headed to Detroit. Depending on how much salary the Detroit Tigers are willing to allocate to the bullpen, the 32-year-old free agent pitcher might be a good fit. The team already have Francisco Rodriguez, but the site mentioned that they might be looking to bring in one or two more relief pitchers.