Maybin will be Padres' center fielder
San Diego acquired youngster from Marlins last week
The Padres plan to put Cameron Maybin's speed to use.
The athletic 23-year-old center fielder they acquired from Florida late last week in exchange for pitchers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica will be counted upon to chase balls gap to gap in cavernous PETCO Park.
"That was a huge part of the appeal," general manager Jed Hoyer told MLB.com. "He does fit the ballpark so well.
"We want him to come in here and feel secure he's going to play center field for us. I'm confident of where he's going to play in the field. He has the skill set, he has power and can steal bases. His career path was unusual. He was up in the big leagues at 20, part of a major trade. I think he's a guy who didn't have a normal path. We think letting him play every day here will help him realize his potential."
The Marlins gain relief depth. Mujica had a 0.93 WHIP and held opponents to a .226 average and struck out more than a hitter per inning.
"The bullpen was a priority, and we went right at it," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "In this deal we identified a club that had young, relief-pitching depth. We saw the Padres as a team that might be in need of a center fielder. This thing cooked up rather quickly, and it seemed to make sense. "
Illness makes winter ball short for Manzella: Tommy Manzella's recipe for success in winter ball in the Dominican Republic didn't include illness.
Food made the Astros shortstop ill, and then he contracted a stomach virus that weakened his immune system. He lost 13 pounds in two weeks before returning home after nine games.
"I was trying to figure out what's the best way to eat food and still be strong enough to play a game," Manzella told MLB.com. "If I hadn't gotten that virus, I would have been fine. Both of those together weren't good for me."
Manzella, now home in Louisiana, has regained most of the weight he lost and plans to continue his work toward becoming a regular at shortstop for Houston.
"That's my goal," he said. "I want to break camp with the team and come to camp ready to win a job, whether it's the starting shortstop job or any way I can help the team. This offseason is all about putting my body mentally and physically in the best position to do so."
Holliday's fourth Silver Slugger a special one: For the fourth time in his career, Matt Holliday has won a Silver Slugger Award.
"With the way I started out, trying to justify the contract and trying to try a little too hard, getting off to a slow start, to be able to come back and win an award like this, I think there is some specialness to it," Holliday told MLB.com. "And to have a chance to win one in St. Louis, I think there is a little bit of a special feeling to it."
Holliday had 28 home runs, 103 RBIs and 45 doubles.
Pujols secures sixth Silver Slugger: Albert Pujols, who led the National League with 42 home runs and 118 RBIs, won his sixth Silver Slugger Award last week. It was also the sixth time in his career that he's hit 40 or more home runs.
"I'm just blessed, man," Pujols told MLB.com. "I'm blessed to be able to do that and use the God-given talent and be able to stay healthy for a few seasons to be able to do that."
Hunter lobbying to bring Crawford west: Torii Hunter has been trying to convince Carl Crawford to join the Angels since the All-Star Game in Anaheim last July.
"We've got the weather, the sun shining, and 40,000 fans every night, win or lose," Hunter told the Los Angeles Times. "When you get off turf, this is where you want to be.
"He's been saying great things about Anaheim. He needs to go through the process and take his visits. That's what I encouraged him to do. If he comes out here and takes a visit, we're going to win him over."
Nix playing at third in winter ball: Jayson Nix will be playing in Puerto Rico this winter, with his focus on playing third base. While doing so, he says he knows he needs to play it smartly.
"The only thought for me is you have to be smart with your body," Nix told MLB.com. "It's a long season, and we've been going at it since February. It takes a toll. You have to be smart and give your body enough rest. I wanted to make sure I could do it in a way where I know I can get the rest."
Victorino didn't expect Gold Glove: Coming off a disappointing season, Shane Victorino was pleasantly surprised to win his third straight Gold Glove Award last week.
"It's great," Victorino told MLB.com. "Did I expect it? No. Was I shocked a little bit? Yeah. Sometimes you don't get the recognition you would get in previous years. I'm not saying I had an awful year, but sometimes the Gold Glove is a little bit around what you do offensively as well. It's definitely an honor. It's always great, but it's about the team, and we didn't do what we wanted to do this year."
Cabrera adds to Silver Slugger collection: Miguel Cabrera has won his first Silver Slugger Award while playing in the American League. It's also the third position at which he has won a Silver Slugger. He also won the award with Florida as an outfielder in 2005 and third baseman in 2006.
"I think he probably gets more respect from an offensive standpoint than any hitter in the league," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told MLB.com. "I think he's been the best player in the league this year."
Castro impresses Soriano with his youth: Starlin Castro, only 20 years old, definitely got the attention of veteran Alfonso Soriano this season -- for many reasons.
"He brings a lot of energy to the team because he's very young," Soriano told MLB.com. "He plays great defense, and he's a great hitter, too. He doesn't know what he brings to this team because he's so young, and he just wants to play baseball.
"He's 20 years old, but he doesn't act like he's 20 years old. He's a grown man."
Youkilis prepared to play third base if needed: The Red Sox say they will try to re-sign Adrian Beltre but are prepared to shift Kevin Youkilis from first base to third base.
"It's something we've had dialogue with him about over the years, including recently, and he sees himself as a third baseman even though he's played more first base than third base in his Major League career," general manager Theo Epstein told the Boston Herald. "He's maintained a lot of the skills that are required to play the position.
"He's got really good instincts over there, more than anything. He's played that position more by instinct than by pure athleticism, and he still maintains that, the ability to read hops and make plays. We'd be comfortable if we had to move Youk over to third. He would do a fine job defensively, and his offense would certainly be outstanding for that position."
Chipper Jones gets positive news on knee: The Braves were pleased with the results of Chipper Jones' knee exam.
"Chipper had his knee checked out last week, and that went very well," general manager Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Everything was really going along well. So far, there's no reason to believe he can't come back and play for us."
Richardson brings upside to Marlins: The Marlins traded Andrew Miller to the Red Sox for Dustin Richardson. In 2010, Richardson made 26 appearances and had a 4.15 ERA with 14 walks and 12 strikeouts in 13 innings for the Red Sox.
"We had an opportunity to pick up a young left-handed reliever who we think has a really good arm, and we want to give him a shot," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It's about throwing strikes. The stuff is really good with Richardson.
"He had very limited opportunity in the big leagues. He has good Minor League numbers, and the stuff is good. He has good size and we have control obviously with his service time and with options, so we thought it made sense. We think there's upside with this kid."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.