Just a few minutes ago, the Atlanta Braves announced a trade with the Detroit Tigers.
Braves acquire LHPs Ian Krol and Gabe Speier from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for OF Cameron Maybin and cash considerations.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 20, 2015
Before the trade was completed, the Tigers' depth chart for the outfield had Tyler Collins starting in left field, Anthony Gose in center, and J.D. Martinez in right. For a team with hopes of making it back to the playoffs, that clearly wasn't good enough, and likely led to the acquisition of Maybin.
While the Tigers have yet to announce their plans for Maybin, it's safe to assume that he'll take over the everyday duties in center field, and push Gose to a bench role. He's signed through the end of this season, and has a team option for 2017 valued at $9 million, with a buyout for $1 million.
Maybin is an upgrade over Gose, but only slightly.
Neither player was particularly valuable in 2015, and it could be argued that giving anything up to acquire Maybin, an overpaid outfielder, doesn't make much sense. Ian Krol has yet to prove that he's worthy of a major league roster spot, but Gabe Speier has been fantastic in his three seasons in the minors.
While he has yet to progress beyond A-ball, he's only 20 years old, and his worst ERA and FIP over that time has been 2.86 and 2.65, respectively. He's shown good control, as his walk rate has been below 2.45 at each minor league level, and he has yet to allow a home run in 77 professional innings.
The Tigers undoubtedly need help in the outfield, but Maybin doesn't seem like the answer. This trade won't cripple their future, but it's certainly questionable.