Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 3/5/12

The Padres made one of the best moves of the offseason a year ago, acquiring Cameron Maybin from the Marlins for two middle relievers (Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica). The 24-year-old center fielder rewarded them with a 4.7 WAR season, and now they’ve rewarded him with a five-year contract extension. Dan Hayes of The North County Times first reported that a deal was imminent, and has since added details via Twitter

Front office source confirms Cameron Maybin’s deal is for 5 years w/ an option for 6th. Ties up first 2 years of free agency. #Padres

Source: Cameron Maybin’s deal is for $23-25 million with option on $7-8 million range. #Padres

The team has since announced the deal. The contract buys out Maybin’s final season as a pre-arbitration player, all three years of arbitration-eligibility, and one free agent year. The option covers a second free agent year and could potential keep him in San Diego through age 30.

The deal is very similar to the one signed by Chris Young (five years, $25.5 million), and it’s probably not a coincidence that Josh Byrnes was the GM for both deals. Although both players signed their five-year contracts one year prior to becoming eligible for arbitration, Young’s didn’t kick in until the following year. The Diamondbacks will have him under contract for one season longer than the Padres will have Maybin, but the framework is very similar. Curtis Granderson (five years, $30.25 million) and Franklin Gutierrez (four years, $20.25 million) also signed extensions at similar points of their careers.

Agent Brian Goldberg appears to have gotten his client a nice guarantee especially compared to Young and Granderson, who had significant power advantages over Maybin at the time of their contracts. Power pays in arbitration and in deals like this, not defense. One full season worth of UZR (+9.5) and DRS (+11) doesn’t tell us much, but the scouting reports and reputation certainly back up Maybin’s work in the field. Offensively he performed considerably better away from Petco Park (.357 wOBA) than he did at home last season (.297), which isn’t a surprise at all.

Goldberg did well for Maybin, but the Padres got themselves a nice bargain even if he settles in as a four-win player going forward. His salary would have been depressed during his team control years, but the club will get plenty of surplus value barring injury or sudden collapse. There is risk as always, but Maybin’s skill set is well-suited for his home park and the team secured the prime years of a guy playing a premium up the middle position. Everyone should be happy.

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