Braves trade Cameron Maybin to Tigers for pair of relievers

The Atlanta Braves fire sale continued today, as the club dealt outfielder Cameron Maybin and cash considerations to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for relievers Ian Krol and Gabe Speier.

Maybin returns to the Tigers organization, where he was drafted in the 1st round back in 2005. Acquired by the Braves in the Craig Kimbrel deal, 2015 proved to be a solid season for the center fielder. He notched career-high 10 home runs and 59 RBI, to go with 23 stolen bases, a .267 batting average, and a .327 OBP. Despite his impressive season at the plate, he regressed defensively, posting a career worst -16 defensive runs saved, and a -7.1 UZR – both of which were positive in 2014, albeit in a smaller sample size. The Tigers may platoon him, given the 28-year-old’s struggles against lefties (.237 average). Maybin’s got one year left at $8 million, and a club option for 2017 worth $9 million.

Krol, acquired by the Tigers in 2013 in the Doug Fister trade, gives the Braves a young, controllable lefty. The 24-year-old had a rough go-around in 2015, posting a 5.59 ERA (and a 5.17 FIP) in 33 appearances, walking 17 batters in 28 innings. He fared much better in AAA, posting a 2.87 ERA and only walking 11 batters in 31.1 innings. Krol can dial his fastball to the mid-90’s, and likely has a future as a late innings reliever.

Speier joined the Tigers from the Red Sox organization this season in the Yoenis Cespedes trade. The 20-year-old lefty hasn’t pitched above single-A, where last season he had a solid 2.86 ERA with good strikeout (7.4 SO/9) and walk (2.5 BB/9) rates. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013, and although fully recovered, he’s years away from making his MLB debut.

The Tigers get a major league piece who can contribute to the middle of their lineup while the Braves add some nice organizational depth. I don’t think either team loses here. Sure, giving up major league talent for two relievers doesn’t seem right on paper, but Maybin’s often overhyped for the prospect he was opposed to the player he is. He’s solid, but he’s not an All-Star. Could the Braves gotten more? Sure, but this deal isn’t as horrific as some make it out to be.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.