Yesterday, the Marlins unloaded Cameron Maybin to the San Diego Padres for two relief pitchers. Maybin, the perennial phenom (that the Marlins always seem to have) was thought to be penciled in as 2011's starting center fielder for the Marlins. Now he will be the Padres starting center fielder. Does this move mean that Scott Cousins is the new Marlins center fielder?
The Fan isn't crazy about this deal and this is why: Maybin was one of the last value pieces the Marlins received in their big trade with Detroit that sent that team Miguel Cabrera (and Dontrelle Willis, but we'll forget about that). Andrew Miller was just traded to the Red Sox for another reliever (Dustin Richardson). So when all is said and done, the Marlins gave up all-world Miguel Cabrera for four relief pitchers (they still have Badenhop). If you believe most experts, relief pitchers are probably the easiest asset to acquire. It is not unreasonable to take any of your hard throwing minor league prospects and turn them into relief pitchers. The Padres have been doing that successfully for years, which gave them the ability to make this deal.
But it's not only that Maybin was the last value piece from the Cabrera deal, he still has a ton of upside. He's had four short term looks so far in the majors. None of them have come close to matching his very impressive success in the minors. But you would assume still that he has the talent to put it together and mirror his minor league career. He is, after all, only 23. He certainly has more upside potential than Scott Cousins, who has shown just ordinary play thus far in his minor league career. He did just fine in a minor cup of coffee with the Marlins last year, but are you going to hand him the starting assignment based on that?
There is a nasty thought that just popped into the Fan's head. What if...uhh...what if...it's hard to even speak it...What if the back up plan for center field is Emilio Bonifacio? Oh my! That would not be a good thing. Bonifacio is an exciting player. That's nice. The problem is that he isn't even close to being a good player.
So yes, the Marlins needed some relievers. Edward Mujica was terrific last year expect for the untidy total of 11 homers he yielded in 59 appearances. He's young and strikes a lot of people out. Ryan Webb doesn't strike as many people out, but he is a serviceable arm in the bullpen. Again, forgive the Fan for not being excited about these two fine gentleman. It seems too low a value to give up a potential star, albeit, one that hasn't shown anything yet in the majors.