It was thought to be a blessing when Cameron Maybin, seemingly one of the top two or three talents in the draft fell all the way to the Tigers at the tenth pick.
With a high talent comes high demands, demands in line with first overall pick Justin Upton, who still remains unsigned.
Where the Tigers were more apt to offer Maybin “slot” money. This left the two sides more than a million dollars apart on a signing bonus, leaving things up in the air.
Maybin’s family, believed to be convinced he was worth the hefty $4 million signing bonus he was commanding, refused to back down from their demands, forcing agent Brian Goldberg to resort to tactics often considered less than professional, including airing much of the negotiations to members of the media, a huge “no-no” when it comes to working with Dave Dombrowski.
After dropping it to one member in particular that “he longer knew who to deal with”, Dombrowski, not one to be played, firing back that the Tigers had cut off talks with Maybin and would be moving on without him.
Obviously, this wasn’t an ideal situation for anyone involved, especially the Tigers, desperate for a talent such as Maybin in a minor league system that, while improving, is still far from where it needs to be.
But the Tigers refuse to be held hostage by any one player, resorting to the philosophy that no one player is bigger than the entire organization.
Maybin in turn realized the Tigers had likely won the battle, and the family finally backed off of their high demands. On Thursday, the two sides agreed to a deal with a signing bonus worth $2.65 million.
Maybin is expected to head to Lakeland next week to join the rest of the Instructional League team in fall workouts. There’s no word yet on whether or not Maybin will formally participate in Instructional League games, or just workout, as that’ll likely be a decision made once he actually reports.
For now, Tiger fans can take solace in the fact that despite another rough and lengthy negotiation process, the Tigers first round draft pick will indeed be a Tiger.