JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin had to correct himself Wednesday as he talked about rejoining the team that first made him an everyday player.
He said he was happy to be back with the Florida Marlins before noting a name change since he left.
“It has been a while — what, about 10 years, I think,” Maybin said.
He actually departed after the 2010 season. The franchise became the Miami Marlins two years later, and now Maybin’s back. The well-traveled 11-year veteran signed a $3.25 million, one-year contract and gives the young, rebuilding Marlins much-needed experience. He can earn an additional $750,000 in performance bonuses.
“I’m excited about what I can bring back as a little older player,” Maybin said. “I’m here to help lead in the right direction and create a culture of togetherness.”
For Maybin, the deal carries the risk of taking him from first to worst. He helped the Houston Astros win the 2017 World Series as a reserve outfielder, and now he joins a team rebooting after a payroll purge by new CEO Derek Jeter.
But Maybin, 30, said the opportunity to play every day appealed to him. He can play all three outfield positions, and along with flexibility he gives the Marlins veteran stability.
“When you look at how we’re constructed, there is a lot of youth,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “It’s nice to mix in an element of guys who have been through the battles and can help the young guys develop.”
The previous time Maybin came to the Marlins, they were in the midst of another payroll-reducing makeover. He was acquired before the 2008 season along with left-handed pitching prospects Dontrelle Willis and Andrew Miller in a seven-player deal that sent slugger Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers.
“I was a kid,” Maybin said. “It’s something I’ll never forget, being a part of something so big.”
He spent three years with Florida, and is a .255 career hitter in 11 seasons with six teams. Last year he batted only .228 for the Angels and Astros, but he had 33 steals to rank second in the American League.
His new deal allows him to earn $50,000 for 300 plate appearances, $100,000 for 350, $150,000 for 400, $200,000 for 450 and $250,000 for 500.
While he’s a little rusty regarding the Marlins’ name, their spring training site hasn’t changed since he left. And so he arrived in plenty of time for Wednesday’s workout with his old, new team.
“I drove right in, no directions, no GPS,” he said. “It’s like I never left. Pretty cool.”
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