Even if they don’t trade Mookie Betts, the Boston Red Sox could use depth in the outfield. A cheap option on the open market is veteran Cameron Maybin.
Rumors have been floating around that the Boston Red Sox are going to shake things up in the outfield. Whether it’s the most talked about idea of trading Mookie Betts or even the possibility of moving on from Jackie Bradley Jr., it seems more likely than not that changes are going to be made.
In the event that one of those two players are not on the team in 2020, the Red Sox will need to find a replacement. If they want to go cheap, they should consider veteran and journeyman Cameron Maybin. Maybin was on the Yankees in 2019 so this would be an effective way to get the stain off of him.
In all seriousness, Maybin has gotten around since he debuted in the majors back in 2007. He has played for eight different teams, a couple of which he’s had more than one stint with. At this stage in his career the chances of getting a multi-year deal have come and gone, so why not add the Red Sox to the list?
Maybin won’t intimidate anybody with the bat in his hands, as he sports a career .256 batting average, .324 OBP, .376 SLG and a .701 OPS. As a matter of fact, you can argue that this past season was his best ever at the plate, as he beat all of those numbers by a large margin. Judging by OPS, Maybin was pretty solid at the plate in 2019.
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Where Maybin will provide value is with his speed. He’ll turn 33 in 2020 so he’s not in his prime in this regard, but he stole 9 bases in 2019 with the Yankees which ranked second for them. Just for reference, that would have been third on the Red Sox, trailing only Betts and Andrew Benintendi. The Red Sox were slightly below average in the bag-swiping department in 2019, which is something that Maybin could help improve on.
His defense isn’t spectacular like Betts or Bradley, but he won’t be a hindrance in that area either. His career fielding percentage is .986 and his career DRS is -1. He had 0 DRS last season in New York. He can play at any spot in the outfield, which is very helpful. As long as Benintendi isn’t going anywhere near center field, there should be no issue.
Obviously, Maybin wouldn’t actually be better than whoever he’d replace, but it seems that for the Red Sox the goal is affordability over ability. In terms of the former, he is as good as it gets.
I’ll be honest with you here, Maybin is about as average a player as you’ll find. That said, for as cheap as he will come in free agency he won’t be a bad acquisition for any team. He can play in the outfield everyday and is a decent option for the back-end of the lineup.
Even if the outfield remains intact, Maybin would be a solid platoon player who can pinch-run or hit if need be, although it wouldn’t be a necessity to sign him in that case. Either way, he’s someone the Red Sox should keep an eye on.