The Yankees have acquired veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Indians for cash considerations, as YES’s Jack Curry and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted on Thursday morning:
Yanks have acquired Cameron Maybin, who was at AAA with the Cleveland Indians. That gives them some OF depth as he can play all three positions. #yankees— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) April 25, 2019
Indians receive cash from yanks for Maybin— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 25, 2019
This will be Maybin’s third organization of the year. He signed a minor-league deal with the Giants shortly after spring training began and seemed like a favorite to make their Opening Day roster, but he didn’t help his case by hitting .163/.250/.233 in 48 plate appearances and getting a DUI hours after a night game in March, and he was released on March 23. He signed a minor-league deal with the Indians on March 29 and had posted a .216/.388/.275 slash line with no homers in 67 plate appearances at Triple-A Columbus.
The 32-year-old Maybin, who has previously seen major-league action with the Tigers and Marlins (two stints each), Padres, Braves, Angels, Astros, and Mariners, has a .254/.322/.368 slash line over 12 big-league seasons. While he’s still considered a capable defender at all three outfield positions and a threat on the basepaths (he’s had double-digit steals in four straight seasons, including 33 in 2017), he’s never been much of a hitter and has posted an above-average OPS+ over a full season just twice in his major-league career — a just-above-average 103 for the Padres in 2011 and a career-best 118 for the Tigers in 2016.
Fortunately for Maybin, the Yankees have been torn apart by injuries and are desperate for all the experienced depth they can collect at this point, so Maybin appears destined for a big-league bench spot, at the least, as things stand now. The Bronx Bombers’ injured list currently includes position players Miguel Andujar, Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Troy Tulowitzki, plus pitchers Dellin Betances, Ben Heller, Jordan Montgomery, and Luis Severino. That’s five of the Yankees’ nine Opening Day starters (and that’s not including catcher Gary Sanchez, who just came off the injured list), plus their would-be starting shortstop, center fielder, and starting pitcher, all of whom were unavailable on Opening Day. They’re missing a group that conceivably could have been their primary outfield trio (Stanton, Hicks, and Judge), plus two guys in Ellsbury and Frazier who are useful backups when healthy.
The Yankees’ starting outfield trio for the last two games has included Tyler Wade, who is more of a utility infielder but has been pressed into duty in left field; Brett Gardner, who was projected to slide into more of a fourth outfielder role this year and certainly isn’t an ideal everyday center fielder at 35 years old; and ex-Rockies prospect Mike Tauchman, who is actually one of the team’s best healthy hitters right now with a .810 OPS through 53 plate appearances. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Maybin supplant Wade in left field immediately, though the Yankees should get Hicks, Stanton, and Frazier back sooner than later.