Padres lock up Maybin with five-year extension
Outfielder's $25M deal could keep him in San Diego through '17
PEORIA, Ariz. -- A year ago, Cameron Maybin came to Spring Training in Arizona with the assurance from both his general manager and manager that he was going to be the Padres' everyday center fielder.
Maybin, who previously had spent time on a tiresome shuttle between Triple-A and the Major Leagues when he was with the Tigers and Marlins, greeted this decree with equal parts cynicism and euphoria.
"Even up until the halfway point last year, I still had days where I was looking over my shoulder," Maybin said Saturday. "... You hear it, but you don't believe it. I had days where I was still sort of looking around the corner to see if anyone was coming."
No one is coming, a point validated by Maybin's play in 2011 and by the fact that the Padres awarded him with a $25 million contract extension that could keep him in San Diego through 2017.
As part of his new deal, Maybin will earn a $500,000 bonus, a $500,000 salary for this season and then $3 million (2013), $5 million (2014), $7 million (2015) and $8 million (2016) to go with a $9 million club option for 2017 ($1 million buyout).
"It means a lot that these guys want me to be the face of this franchise, which I'm more than willing and ready to be," Maybin said. "I love playing for these guys, love playing for the fans.
"It says a lot about what they think about my abilities, my character and my work ethic. It's more than just the ability that goes into making a decision like this for an organization."
The Padres first approached Maybin about an extension last August, when Jed Hoyer was still the GM of the team and Maybin's agent was Bob Baratta.
Josh Byrnes later took over for Hoyer as GM, and Maybin in January changed back to his original agent, Brian Goldberg. Goldberg previously represented not only Ken Griffey Jr., but his father as well.
"I think he had a lot to do with it," Maybin said of Goldberg. "He's been around, been in this situation, he's had Griffey and his father. He kind of understands the process. He helped me get through it a lot easier and remain patient."
Maybin and Goldberg asked for a no-trade clause, but the Padres don't give those, nor do they offer contract incentives.
The deal is similar in terms to the one Byrnes gave center fielder Chris Young when both were with the D-backs in April 2008 (five years, $28 million). However, that deal was made after Young had played just 185 games. Maybin has played 305 Major League games to this point.
Byrnes said this contract model can work, and he saw it work when he worked in Cleveland's front office in the 1990s, during which the Indians signed several younger players to club-friendly deals.
"I think these contracts make a lot of sense. The first part is having talent and guys you consider core players," Byrnes said on Saturday. "You want to lock them in. It's a good statement. But obviously we need to do more than this. Find the right talent and try to lock them up.
"I do believe in the concept. It's one of those win-win contract models."
Maybin, who will turn 25 on April 4, the day before Opening Day, hit .264 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs last season while also stealing a career-high 40 bases.
"I liked his defense and baserunning, they were standouts last year. His bat was solid, going out there every day, hitting in a division with a lot of pitching," Byrnes said last week.
"And he was pretty consistent. Hopefully we can build on that. He's still young, so he's still developing as a hitter. But we think last year was solid, and he can build off that."
Maybin was obtained by Hoyer in November 2010 for two relief pitchers -- Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica -- from the Marlins.
At several points during the 2011 season, Maybin expressed how much he enjoyed playing in San Diego and how he was appreciative of the Padres for letting him be their everyday center fielder.
"It's very flattering and definitely something I was hoping we could get done," Maybin said. "It's a place I want to play in for a long time."
Padres manager Bud Black likes the idea of having Maybin roam center field for years to come.
"It's a great thing that ownership and Josh got together with Cam and his agent and worked this out," Black said. "This gives Cam some security and stability and gives us a player that is under contract that we're excited to have."
Now all that's left is for Maybin to go out and play. He'll do so knowing he's every bit as invested in the Padres as they are in him.
"I think there's a lot more in there, a lot more to come," he said.