Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The saga of Hammerin' Cameron Maybin is about to end, and it just doesn't seem fair

I wheedle and whine about Brian "Zolio" Cashman - (new nickname: as GM, he's 1 for his last 18 years in world championships) - but the army of extras he's assembled this year rivals any of the great Game of Thrones battle scenes. For a moment, let's forget the All-Star vote; what if Yankee fans had to elect this season's most pleasant surprise? The nominees:

Luke Voit
Gio Urshela
Domingo German
DJ LeMahieu

Clint Frazier
Cameron Maybin

Each has been a godsend, each rose from (relative) obscurity, and each could vanish tomorrow, if Cooperstown Cashman decides the Yankees can improve through an acquisition. That is the hidden message of the Edwin Encarnacion deal: 

It doesn't matter how brilliantly a bench player performs for the Yankees, he will be replaced if a better alternative comes along.

Let's face it: The only "safe" Yankees - that is, here to stay - are the ones whose contracts make trading them nearly impossible. That's Giancarlo Stanton, Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Jacoby Ellsbury. If Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino fall apart, they could join this group. And there is the popularity factor for Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius: Yankee fans would revolt if any were dealt or allowed to walk (though we once felt that way about Mr. Jogginson Cano, didn't we? Wasn't his lifetime Yankee legacy a certainty?

Even Voit - heart and soul of the team, thus far - might be looking over his shoulder come October, if Encarnacion proves himself a decent fielding first-baseman. 

But today, let's talk about Hammerin' Cameron. Last night, he went 3-3 with a HR, his third this week, and everybody knows he's hitting with one foot out the waiver wire door. By this time next week, Judge will return, and the Yankees almost certainly will waive Maybin, whom Voit last night called "one of the coolest, most positive teammates I've ever had." Last night, you could see in the body language of his colleagues how well Maybin is liked and respected. There is no Scranton option. He's 32.

The lone alternative would be to clip a pitcher from our ginormous 13-member staff and use Maybin for defensive replacements and pinch running. But that's Brett Gardner's role. Unless somebody gets injured - (which, by the way, is the new normal; it'll be maddening to have someone go down a week after Maybin leaves) - it's almost impossible to keep Maybin. Cashman will try to trade him, rather than let Boston or some potential October opponent pick him up for scratch. He won't get much in a deal. No leverage. 

As far as I can see, all we get is the chance to give this guy something he will keep for the rest of his life: A few loud, joyous standing ovations in the city that never weeps... and then, if we're lucky - come November - a full world series share. Someday, on Old-Timers Day, they'll announce his name, and we'll rouse from our creamed corn in the senior center cafeteria and yell to our keepers, "Hammerin' Cameron! Goddamm! He was something!"


Local Bargain Jerk said...

Let's face it: The only "safe" Yankees - that is, here to stay - are the ones whose contracts make trading them nearly impossible.

Another name for this management philosophy is:

      Too Big to Fail

This philosophy -- and management outlook -- was made famous during the Great Recession of 2008.

I didn't like being an involuntary minority owner of AIG any more than I like being an involuntary and unwilling supporter of Jacoby Ellsbury.


Anonymous said...

The solution would be to release Gardner instead of Maybin.

TheWinWarblist said...

Why yes. Release Gardner. If this was my Strat'o'Matic League that's exactly what I'd do. Alas, this is real life, and one does not just release a lifetime Yankee as a sensible roster move. Let us hope that Brett does the noble thing and injures himself making waffles this morning.

JM said...

Silly rabbit. Cut Holder, keep Mayvin. Or send Cessa back down. The bullpen will be no worse for it, and the bench will be much, much better.

You don't need all these relievers because the law of averages says that some of them are going to be crap. Keep the better, lose the worser.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Is Holder out of options?

Asking for a friend.

...and does this salve really work?

Anonymous said...



13bit said...

I'm going to run all of this stuff by Doctor Olu and see what he says. I think he probably has some good answers.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I agree with JM and ALLCAPS> ditch Cessa and keep Maybin, pleeeeeeze!!!!

Alphonso said...

Maybin is currently far better than Gardy in every respect.

HoraceClarke66 said...

JM: according to the postgame show last night, the "debate" is over this:

Send down Surrenderer, who DOES have an option or two left.
Send down Cortes.
Waive Maybin.

I find it insane that this "debate" would last more than 3 seconds.

OF COURSE Jonathan Surrenderer should go down. As we saw this week, you can't even put him in a 7-1 game.

And OF COURSE, with its roster full of lumbering dinosaurs, the Yankees need more than what amounts—not counting the back-up catcher—to 2 bench players.

But instead, the madness continues.

Mediasavvy said...

Maybin has proved his value to the MLB this year. If the Yankees don't flip him for something in the next week, he'll won't last long on the waiver wire.

I'd rather have Maybin than Stanton, but Brian never consults me on anything anymore.........

Anonymous said...

Yes--Maybin is excelling in a very small sample this year, but he's not really a player to be counted on in the long term: a nice surprise as a spare part, but nothing more. Nevertheless, Alphonso makes a good point that he might be more valuable than Gardner at this point.

Meanwhile, Judge is a combined 1-for-14 in his minor-league rehab stint so far (0 for 8 at SWB), with no homeruns. Yes, it's a small sample, yet there's something suspect about it. Would anyone here be simply SHOCKED to hear whispers that his injury is barking again, that he's not really able to generate full torque on his swing, that he may have to be shut down until 2020?

Randy Levine swallows another bottle of Tums. . . .

Retired Stratman said...

This is the most convincing explanation for why we got Encarnacion.

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