Mike Cameron is 35. He has a career offensive line of .251/.341/.445. He’s currently facing a 25-game suspension for a failed test due to a banned stimulant. And now Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Yankees may be interested in Cameron.
More from the tireless Rosenthal:
The Yankees are showing serious interest in Cameron, major-league sources say, figuring that they could trade center fielder Melky Cabrera even if they do not send him to the Twins for left-hander Johan Santana.
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is a supporter of Cameron’s; the two were teammates with the Mariners in 2000. Cameron also has recent experience playing in New York; he was with the Mets in ’04 and ’05…The Yankees likely would seek prospects for Cabrera, replace him with Cameron in center and keep Johnny Damon in left.
Rosenthal speculates that Damon would play center until Cameron’s suspension. He also feels that the Yanks would sign Cameron to a two-year deal while Austin Jackson matures.
So there’s a lot going on here. First, the Yankees clearly do not view Melky Cabrera as the long-term solution to centerfield. That mantle appears to be Austin Jackson’s. Meanwhile, the Yanks also seem willing to deal Cabrera if the right package comes along.
While we at RAB aren’t the biggest fans of Melky, this is one situation I can’t explain. Cameron at 35 is not an ideal center fielder, and his offensive production is decidedly mediocre and trending downward. Plus, at 35, he isn’t getting younger or better. If the Yanks were intent on trading Melky, they probably should have moved him after 2006 when his stock was higher. Unless he’s part of a package, Cabrera should stay in New York this year.
This is, of course, just a rumor from some “Major League sources,” and we’ll see how it develops. But I don’t like it right now.
Update 1:21 a.m.: After reading over the comments and thinking about this some more, I’m coming around on the idea of getting Cameron if the price is right. He is definitely a bigger offensive threat than Melky and would slot in quite well at the bottom of the Yankee lineup. Also, if the Yanks feel they can spin Melky off to the Pirates for Damaso Marte, I’d probably be down with that. Marte would give the Yankees a great lefty arm out of the pen. Whether the Pirates have any use for Melky, though, is another question all together.