Former Yankees outfielder, Cameron Maybin, hints that he warned of Astros sign-stealing

When the New York Yankees entered the 2019 ALCS against the Houston Astros, few were aware of their sign-stealing techniques and the illegal activities they were embarking on. However, there was one player on the Yankees that hinted towards their demoralizing ways.

Having signed with the Detroit Tigers this offseason, outfielder Cameron Maybin stated that he had a conversation with his teammates over the Astros’ sign-stealing ways, stating:

“I’m very loyal to who I’m playing for,” he said. “Going into a tough series, you know, these are my brothers. A conversation happened, that I’ll keep between those guys.

“We had a conversation. I’ll keep that conversation between them, but — heads-up.”

The Bombers fell four games to two in the series, and reports have emerged stating that Houston has been cheating throughout the postseason and even in the World Series. As time goes on and players begin to voice their opinion and perspective on the matter, it’s becoming clear that a ton of influential people were aware or suspicious of their actions leading to the unveiling of the truth.

What makes Maybin so credible?

Cameron spent a few weeks with Houston in 2017, when they were at the peak of their scandal.

“I was never really pressured about it,” he said. “I just kind of kept my head down and approached the game how I always approached it.”

Could the Yankees re-unite with free agent Cameron Maybin?

Cameron Maybin’s return to the New York Yankees should have been clear-cut, especially after Aaron Hicks was ruled out for the first half of the 2020 season with Tommy John surgery. Maybin, though, has failed to cling on with a new team, and his presence on the market might present the Yankees with a final chance to re-sign the speedy outfielder.

The New York Yankees found a gem in Cameron Maybin last season:

When GM Brian Cashman brought Maybin over from the Indians for $25,000, nobody anticipated he would have such a significant impact. He played 82-games with the bombers, hitting .285 with 11 homers.

Maybin has had a lengthy 13-year career and never had the emotional experience he did with the Yankees in 2019, stating:

“Put it like this,” Maybin said in September. “When you get signed out of high school as a young kid and you dream and you think what professional baseball is going to be like, and as you get into an organization and it’s nothing like that? This is what I thought it would be like, as far as the expectations, the professionalism. This is what you think big-league baseball is going to be like when you’re a youth, when you imagine one day playing in the big leagues, the environment, the atmosphere. This is what you dream about. This is what you expect. You don’t get that everywhere. To have an opportunity to get that this yea is a blessing for me.”

The experience Maybin had with the Bombers is similar for most, and his respect for the organization bled into the quality of his play. That just proves how significant a culture can be to the ultimate success of the players.

“I think everybody here knows how I feel about this organization,” Maybin said in September, “just how much respect for how they carry themselves and the expectations that they put out, that they put on their players, the fans’ expectations, how invested the fans are, how invested the group is, the character of the group.

The Yankees don’t necessarily have a pressing need in the outfield, but Maybin’s return would give them a top-tier base runner and reserve option if they need it. His offensive production has been inconsistent at times, but his defense has always been reliable. His ability to move around the outfield is also a positive for the Yankees, and with the lack of trust in Clint Frazier to not treat reporters poorly, Maybin actually fits the bill quite well.

If Cashman is keen on moving another outfield, including Frazier in a trade would make more sense in this theoretical scenario.

Comment below if you’d like to see Cameron Maybin back in Pinstripes!

Yankees News/Rumors: Where are the left-hand bats? Cameron Maybin, and Bill White on Phil Rizutto!

A daily look at New York Yankee News and Rumors of interest to Yankee fans.

Where are the left-hand bats?

Nitpicking the Yankees:  After 103 wins last year and the return of a healthy staff for spring training, it’s hard to find any significant flaws in the New York Yankees.  Last year’s deficiency of not having a true ace in the rotation has been solved with the acquisition of Gerrit Cole.  In the infield, the Yankees have two players available for all positions, except for 2nd base operated by Silver Slugger DJ LaMahieu, who was one of only two not to go on the IL last year.  Even with Aaron Hicks on the IL to start the season, the Yankees have the outfield covered.  So, where is the flaw?  Possibly that flaw lies in one of the most potent lineups in all of baseball.  Assuming that left-hand hitter’s Mike Ford and Mike Tauchman are not in the lineup, that leaves only Brett Gardner hitting from the left side of the plate.

Traditionally legendary Yankees have taken advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium.  To maximize that result, you need left-hand hitters behind the plate.  Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Tino Martinez, Mark Teixeira, and last year’s Didi Gregorius were all left hand or switch hitters.

With Gregorius gone to the Phillies, the Yankees are heavily right-handed, making it more challenging to take advantage of that short porch in right, making it easier for opposing managers when they select pitchers.  Switch-hitting Francisco Lindor is the only player that can hit from the left side and is the single-player the Yankees actively pursued, and that is dead for the most part.  It looks as though the Yankees will have to deal with the heavy right-handed lineup and use Ford and Tauchman to pinch-hit where needed to break up the lineup. Sometime in August, the left hitting Aaron Hicks will return to help alleviate the situation.   If the Yankees don’t take Cameron Maybin, a dark horse right fielder free agent out there is the former Yankee switch hitter Melky Cabrera who batted .280 last year with the Pirates.

Will Cameron Maybin be a Yankee?

Cameron Maybin stepped up to the plate for the Yankees in 82 regular-season games last year and hit .285 with eleven home runs while manning the outfield as the Yankees suffered unprecedented injuries throughout the lineup.  If you recall Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge were all off the field for a time last year.

At the end of the season, when Maybin became a free agent, he made it clear that he wanted to remain a Yankee.   That offer never came from the Yankee front office.  In a statement, Maybin explained why he wanted to stay a Yankee:

“Put it like this,” Maybin said in September. “When you get signed out of high school as a young kid and you dream and, you think what professional baseball is going to be like, and as you get into an organization and it’s nothing like that? This is what I thought it would be like, as far as the expectations, the professionalism. This is what you think big-league baseball is going to be like when you’re a youth when you imagine one day playing in the big leagues, the environment, the atmosphere. This is what you dream about. This is what you expect. You don’t get that everywhere. To have an opportunity to get that this year is a blessing for me.”

Months have passed, and Maybin is still a free agent. General Manager Cashman did contact his agent early in the postseason, but nothing has been heard of regarding any movement since then.  In another statement, he said:

“Yeah, I think it’s a no-brainer that this is somewhere that I would want to be in the future. But I’ve been around this game long enough to know how it works. You’ve got prospects, you’ve got other free agent moves. Again, I’ve done it for a while. I don’t really put any expectations going forward on free agency. But do I think this is by far the best organization I’ve ever been a part of? Absolutely. Without question.”

Maybin has undoubtedly made it known to fans and the Yankee management where he would like play.  Now there are reports from John Heyman of the MLB Network that the Pirates are considering Maybin as well as other outfielders to fill their void.  The Yankees have a situation of having a full, healthy outfield to start the year with the signing of Brett Gardner.   The question is who will act first, the Yankees, the Pirates, or some other team.  Maybin is a valuable asset to any organization, even as a bench player.  Only time will tell if Cameron Maybin is again a Yankee.

Bill White on Phil Rizutto:

Bill White was a first baseman for the Giants, Cardinals, and the Phillies.  While still playing, he got a radio program, and following his retirement, he became a Yankee broadcaster.  He was the very first black major league broadcaster.  He broadcast with a team of he, Frank Messer, and most often with Yankee shortstop legend Phil Rizutto.  Yankee fans remember well Rizutto as a player and broadcaster.

The team of White and Rizutto lasted for seventeen years.  On a broadcast on WPIX, White remembered Rizutto, who died back in 2007.  He said that Rizutto was a great storyteller and quite a character.  At times he would leave the booth and return with a dozen cannoli.  White said he appreciated his honesty, openness, and his vast knowledge of the game.  His storytelling came in very handy during rain delays as he could talk about the game and baseball in general for as long as necessary.  Today when rain delays a game, the YES network goes back to the studio.  Back then (1971-1988), there were just the booth announcers to entertain viewers.  White said that Phil’s love of the game came through in every broadcast.  His distinctive voice was known to fans without actually seeing him.  Fans know different broadcasters’ typical phrases, but none was more unique than that of Phil Rizutto.  On any great play or significant happening during a game, including home runs, Phil would say “Holy Cow.”  White is 85 and living in Lakewood, Florida.

 

Could the New York Yankees reunite with Cameron Maybin?

The New York Yankees‘ 2020 season relies on two things: Pitching and depth. The starting level talent for the Bombers remains among the best in baseball, but their depth could present an issue, especially if they suffer extensive injuries next season.

However, the firing of Matt Krause and hiring of Eric Cressey, a renowned strength and conditioning coach, should lower the amount of soft-tissue injuries and help the Yankees remain healthy moving forward. With depth being an issue and a lack of quality base runners, the return of Cameron Maybin is possible.

Maybin joined the Yanks on cash considerations in April of last year, playing in 82 games and posting some of the best production he’s seen during his career. His .285 batting average and 11 homers were both career highs, and factor in his nine stolen bases, and you can justify bringing him back on a one-year deal.

Just several years ago, Maybin posted 33 stolen bases, putting his speed and agility on display. The Yankees could use another top base runner, especially with the plethora of slower, sluggers that have in the batting order. Also, Maybin’s defense is solid, as he logged a .984 fielding percentage over 77 games. The only position he struggled in was left field, but he was perfect in right and center.

Cameron has yet to sign with another team and would be a cheap return option. Manager Aaron Boone raved about his veteran leadership in the locker room, which could be an important factor after the departure of both CC Sabathia and Didi Gregorius. The Yankees did keep CC in the organization, which will undoubtedly benefit the plyers.

One reason GM Brian Cashman might pass on the veteran outfielder is due to Estevan Florial, who has similar tools to Maybin. If Florial can impress during spring training, he could get the call in 2020 to act as a reserve option.

New York Yankees: Three Free Agent Outfielders To Consider

The New York Yankees will need another outfielder on their 26 man roster in 2020. They have in house options like Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier, or they could choose to sign a free agent. Here are three free agent options that the team could consider signing on for the 2020 season and beyond.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar spent most of the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants after an early trade from the Toronto Blue Jays. He hit .259 with 21 home runs and 88 runs batted in overall. He’s a slightly above average batter, but a gold glove outfielder and can steal bags.

If the Yankees signed him, he would play centerfield as Brett Gardner would play left with Giancarlo Stanton as the DH.

Steven Souza Jr.

Steven Souza Jr. missed the entire 2019 season after a freak injury in a pre-season exhibition. He hit .220 in 2018, missing half the season due to injuries.

He would be used as a backup in New York, as his bat isn’t good enough to play every day. But, he’s shown how dominant he can be at times and he could finally break out if the Yankees signed him.

Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin had a very successful season with the Yankees in 2019, and should be considered again for the 2020 season. He hit .285 with a career high 11 home runs with the team after starting the season in AAA for the Cleveland Indians.

The only thing holding the Yankees back is his interest. He is likely looking for an everyday job somewhere, and New York might not be that place.