Last night, Dan Hayes of the North County Times reported the Padres and Cameron Maybin would be starting up contract negotiations once again. Almost as pivotal to the Padres future as their off-season acquisitions is Maybin’s contract. Not many disagree with his fit in San Diego and his ability to contribute for years to come. It’s only fitting that Padres fans get this news on Christmas. A Maybin contract extension is just the gift the Padres need.
According to reports, the contract negotiations will begin anew in January. The Padres are trying to lock Maybin up to a long-term deal before he becomes arbitration eligible. He will be the experiment to the new regime’s plan of building a team of young players on a budget. If they can get Maybin’s deal done, there’s no reason to believe they can’t do the same with any number of their prospects once they develop. Maybin’s contract will be the blueprint for the Padres going forward. Should the team overpay, they may find themselves on a slippery slope that causes a backslide to continued futility. If they are successful, they may be able to generate success without much payroll similar to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Maybin has found a great deal of success after his first season with San Diego, however he will need to improve upon his ability to hit at Petco Park. At home last season, Maybin hit just .231/.294/.324. On the road he hit .294/.349/.457. While not surprising considering the depressive tendencies Petco has on offensive statistics, Maybin will need to improve each year going forward. The Padres won just 35 games at home last season, largely due to their inability to hit there. As long as Maybin can improve on his OBP, his speed should help the Padres score more and win more.
Maybin’s defense, his speed, and his improving offense are the keys to a successful Padres team. If San Diego intends to build around him, they will need to get this contract done without over-extending themselves. Maybin is clearly worth more than the $440k he made last season, but what is he actually worth? Is he worth $2 million a year, $3 million, more? We’ll soon find out.
Merry Christmas Padres fans. A possible long-term extension for Cameron Maybin is waiting under your trees.