Former top Marlins prospect turned major league journeyman Cameron Maybin hung up his cleats on Monday. Rather than seek another contract for his age-35 season, he is shifting his focus elsewhere, as detailed in a heartfelt social media announcement:
Welcoming 2022 and my next chapter...
I’ve played this game since I was 4 years old. Three decades later, my love for baseball is only matched by the love I have for the family that’s supported me every step of the way.
14 years ago I made my big league debut with the Detroit Tigers. I remember every second of that series. The old Yankee Stadium, more than 50,000 fans in attendance, my grandmother in the stands with my parents and family, and most notably, my first career hit and the bomb I blasted off Roger Clemens—a story my dad still tells his friends to this day.
I am the man I am today because of this ame and the teams that gave a young kid from Asheville, North Carolina a chance to be great: the Tigers, Marlins, Padres, Braves, Angels, Astros, Mariners, Yankees, Cubs, and Mets. To the coaches, agents and mentors and most importantly, the fans, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support.
Although my journey as a professional baseball player ends here with the announcement of my retirement, my work in this game is just getting started.
I’m excited for what lies ahead, including my work with the Players Alliance in our effort to provide access and opportunity for the next generation of Black ballplayers.
To my family, especially my mom, dad, and sister: it hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been the ride of a lifetime. I am nothing without each and every one of you.
To my wife Courtney and my kids, Trent, Max Laila: you are my everything and I can’t wait to spend more time at home with you.
To this game: thank you for teaching me so many important life lessons. I will spend the next chapter of my life paying that forward.
To a 4 year old Killa Cam: you did it, man. You never stopped believing in yourself, even when others didn’t believe in you. And never forget, the only person that can beat you is you—especially around those bases.
Maybin was, most famously, the centerpiece of the December 2007 Miguel Cabrera trade. A former first-round draft pick, he had a cup of coffee with the Tigers at age 20 and showed the characteristics of becoming a dynamic, everyday outfielder.
From 2008-2010, he was merely “solid” for the Marlins: .257/.323/.391, 90 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR in 144 G. But the club felt confident in its other internal options at the position. Maybin was traded to the Padres in exchange for bullpen reinforcements (Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb). He followed that up with arguably the best season of his career in 2011, setting what would wind being personal bests in runs scored, extra-base hits, stolen bases and wins above replacement.
I’m pretty sure Maybin is the only player to appear in major league games for both the Florida era Marlins (pre-2012) and the Jeter/Sherman era Marlins (2018-present). Reuniting with Maybin via a $3.25 million free agent deal was the Marlins’ biggest expenditure during their first offseason under new ownership. His offensive performance in that partial season aligned closely with his first stint (.251/.338/.343, 93 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR in 99 G). The front office traded him to the pseudo-contender Mariners in July for Bryson Brigman and international bonus pool money.
Even as “Slim” Maybin filled out his frame to a listed 215 pounds, he didn’t consistently hit for power—his career .120 ISO was well below the MLB average for center fielders during those years. That prevented him from fulfilling his prospect hype. However, I would consider his career a successful nonetheless. A 2017 World Series champion with Houston, Maybin earned close to $40 million in salary and accumulated more than 11 years of major league service time, enough to qualify for a full MLB pension.
Enjoy your next chapter, Cam!