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Are the Marlins Delaying Maybin to Save Money?

At the start of the season, there was some scuttlebutt that the Orioles would delay promoting Matt Wieters as a way to save money (avoiding making him arbitration eligible a year before the rest of his class, as a Super 2 in 2011 rather than facing arbitration in 2012). In the end, that didn't happen: Wieters came up right about the time he probably should have, and is slowly growing into his role as a future major league catcher.

The Marlins may be using a different tactic with one of their superstar prospects, outfielder Cameron Maybin. The center fielder is sitting in AAA New Orleans (which might actually draw more fans than the Marlins do anyway), hitting .340 with an on-base percentage of .412 and an OPS of .912. If those numbers aren't good enough to get a promotion to the Marlins -- for whom he was the Opening Day starting center fielder anyway -- then I'm not sure which ones are.

As the Sun-Sentinel's Juan Rodriguez points out in this post, Maybin has 36 days of service time this season. If he hits 86, he would become Super-2 eligible, which would earn him a lot of money in the 2011 offseason. That means the Marlins can avoid a pay day for a young star in 2011 by keeping him in the minor leagues for another six weeks.

Far be it from me to know the true motivations of the Marlins organization, but it seems a bit odd for the team to be keeping the No. 5 overall prospect in the entire minor leagues (according to MLB's internal scouting system) out of a major league lineup when he's tearing up AAA, and when he's already played at the major league level before. Maybin is clearly chomping at the bit to get back to the major leagues, and play, soon.

That raises another interesting dilemma: If the Marlins are keeping Maybin curbed in the minors, are they risking agitating him, potentially hurting his performance (frustration and/or pressing) or damaging future long-term negotiations? There's a real chance of it, or so it would seem.

So, are the Marlins making the right move by keeping Maybin in New Orleans? Does the outfielder have a legitimate case to be truly aggrieved. What do people think?

By Cameron Smith  |  July 23, 2009; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  Marlins  | Tags: Cameron Maybin, Marlins, prospects  
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