The Angels kicked off the offseason in earnest Thursday, completing a deal with the Tigers that sent outfielder Cameron Maybin to Los Angeles for Minor League pitcher Victor Alcantara.
The Angels will exercise Maybin's $9 million option for 2017, making him their primary left fielder next season alongside Mike Trout in center andKole Calhoun in right. The move addresses a major position of need for the club heading into the offseason.
Angels acquire outfielder Cameron Maybin in trade with Detroit
"This was something that was clearly an objective of ours heading into the winter," Angels general manager Billy Eppler said during a conference call Thursday evening. "We've been able to acquire a guy that we are happy to put in left field and give him an opportunity to play every day. That's what we're hopeful he'll be able to do." Maybin, who has played in 10 big league seasons with the Tigers, Marlins, Padres and Braves, has almost exclusively played center field in the Majors. But with Trout locked in at center for the Angels, Maybin will shift to left, providing stability at a position that's been a revolving door for the Angels in recent years. "I look forward to playing left field besides Mike Trout, one of the best center fielders in the game," Maybin said. "I think you if put two center fielders out there, I think I'll be able to make his job a lot easier, and vice versa." Maybin, 29, was limited to 94 games with Detroit this year due to a broken wrist and a sprained thumb. But he hit .315 with 14 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 43 RBIs. The Angels are hoping for more of the same from Maybin in 2017. "Last year, you put me on a good team and you can really see what I'm able to do as far as being a huge catalyst on a competitive team," Maybin said. "The last two seasons, being healthy and with the adjustments I've made, I feel like the play speaks for itself as far as being an everyday guy. "I know it's a business, and I knew there was a chance that I might have been on the move, but the one thing that I do believe about myself is I'm an everyday player no matter where I go. I think I proved that the last two seasons." Eppler said while he expects to go into next season with Maybin, Trout and Calhoun as the club's starting outfield, the Angels still plan to explore adding players to the mix this offseason, particularly a left-handed hitter, with their lineup predominantly right-handed. "In a perfect world, you'd love to have a full complement of handedness options, and that would be the perfect scenario, but it's not the end-all, be-all," Eppler said. Los Angeles surrendered its eighth-ranked prospect, per, to acquire Maybin. Alcantara went 3-7 with a 4.30 ERA in 29 appearances (20 starts) for Double-A Arkansas last season.
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