Cameron Maybin is returning to the Detroit Tigers, eight years after being traded to the then-Florida Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera trade.
The Tigers acquired Maybin Friday for pitchers Ian Krol and Gabe Speier. He hit .267/.327/.370 as Atlanta’s everyday centerfielder last season, and is expected to replace Rajai Davis in Detroit’s outfield rotation this season.
Maybin was Detroit’s first-round pick in 2005 and made his major-league debut two years later at the age of 20. He struggled that year, hitting .143 in 24 games, but given his rapid rise through the minor leagues, he was still seen as Detroit’s best prospect and a future star.
That winter, though, he was the centerpiece in one of the best trades in Tigers history, as he and Andrew Miller were among six prospects sent to the Marlins for Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. While Willis was never able to solve his control problems, Cabrera has won two MVPs, four batting titles and the 2013 Triple Crown, and was the leader of the team that won four straight AL Central championships between 2011-2014.
Maybin, though, has never lived up to his potential. In three years with the Marlins, he put up an 88 OPS+ before being traded to San Diego during the 2010-11 offseason. His offense didn’t improve there – he had an 89 OPS+ – but his speed and defense made him a useful player for the first two years.
In 2013, though, he was limited to 14 games by knee and wrist injuries, and he served a 25-game suspension in 2014 for amphetamine use. Just before the start of the 2015 season, he went to Atlanta as part of the Craig Kimbrel deal.
Krol was one of the prospects acquired from Washington for Doug Fister in Dec. 2013, but never panned out. He split each of the last two seasons between Detroit and Triple-A Toledo, posting a 5.34 ERA in 78 games for the Tigers. Speier, who came from Boston as part of the Rick Porcello/Yoenis Cespedes trade, went 4-2 in 33 games as a reliever in Low-A ball in 2014.