There is risk in every contract in sports. Risk on the player’s side and risk for the team shelling out millions of dollars for what amounts to potential. When the Padres extended outfielder Cameron Maybin this offseason, it looked like a great deal for the team. Maybin was fresh off a great season at age 24 when the Padres gave him five years and more than $25 million bucks.

Only a fool would pass judgement on a five-year contract 75 games in but Padres fans grew quite concerned after Cameron Maybin’s slow start in 2012. His .206/.287/.307 line this season (.272 wOBA) looks nothing like the .325 wOBA catalyst for his big extension.

Extension is a key word in the above video. After making some mechanical adjustments at the plate, Maybin extends all over a thigh-high Trevor Cahill sinker and sends it some 485 feet to left center field in Arizona, the longest bomb of the season thus far.

Cameron Maybin might not realize the potential his assortment of tools suggested lurked below the surface. It is also possible that his 2011 season represents the best of his career. One homer does not a season make but any adjustment that gets Maybin’s swing shorter to the ball and keeps him from getting burned by the fastball is a good one, me thinks. At the very least it shows a player who is willing to listen and make changes when he isn’t swinging well.

And The Rest

Maybin’s Padre teammate Yasmani Grandal is blocked no longer. He also has three big league hits to his name, all home runs. [Hardball Talk]

The Home Run Derby Contestants were announced yesterday. Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista and other players who aren’t those two guys. []

The Toronto Blue Jays signed all the international free agents. Every last one. [DJF]

Billy Hamilton, shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds high-A affiliate Bakersfield Blaze, stole his 100th base of the season yesterday. In 78 games. Goes nicely with his .327/.416/.448 line. Very nicely indeed. [USA Today]

Speaking of hysterical hyperbole, Jarrod Parker got a headline writer at the San Francisco Chronicle a little hot and/or bothered. The facts support the claim if you squint but come on! [SF Chron]

Ricky Romero is baseball’s saddest panda. [National Post]

A trio of Baseball Prospectus writers break down the needs, wants, and potential trade pieces of the contenders for the NL East throne. They also wrote about the Mets in the same article. I reccomend they try to be less “Metsey or Metseque.” [BP]

While I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t know shooting down the notion of trading Cole Hamels should be good news for Phillies fans.

That is much better, Ruben.

Word Up Thome returns to the Dugout. Not much else to add here. [With Leather]

HBO announces the fourth season of Eastbound and Down will feature more profanity and, fingers crossed, nudity. God Bless America. [Grantland]