One of the Padres biggest priorities this offseason has been to sign Cameron Maybin to a contract extension. Maybin wants it. The Padres want it. However, it was reported yesterday that both sides have halted negotiations. Maybin is switching agents, and that has obviously led to the hold-up in discussions.
But what does this mean going forward. We don’t know why Maybin switched agents, but a new agent can go one of two ways. He can come in and play hard ball, thus guaranteeing the Padres and Maybin don’t reach a deal, or he can come in and clean up the possible mess left behind by Maybin’s previous representation. While the extension talks being halted is disappointing, this doesn’t mean a new contract won’t get done. However, if Josh Byrnes and the Padres fail to extend Maybin, it will negate many of the moves he has made this offseason.
Cameron Maybin’s talents are clear. His value is clear. He is the type of player the Padres would like to center their team around. Speed with a little pop. In order to do so, they must be proactive with player contracts. They Padres can’t continuously let 11 players file for arbitration, then hope to sign each of them before an arbitrator hears the cases. That’s not a productive business model. When the opportunity presents itself to sign a very good player to a team-friendly deal, the Padres have to jump at that opportunity.
Twice now the Padres and Maybin have stopped negotiations. That’s two strikes against the Padres. This second strike may have been unavoidable in the sense that they have no control over Maybin’s representation. It was avoidable, though, in the sense that a contract should have been done by late last year.
The Padres and Cameron Maybin are at a dangerous crossroads. For the Padres, they could miss out on signing Maybin long-term to a deal they can afford. For Maybin, without a contract extension and guaranteed money, he is risking a decrease in his value if he gets injured or suddenly drops off the table productivity-wise. Both sides need to get back to the negotiation table and get a deal done soon. Spring Training is just around the corner.