Dec
02

If Damon departs, Cameron could be the man

By

Open season in the free agent market began a week and a half ago, yet we haven’t seen any major activity. Andruw Jones signed with the White Sox and Alex Gonzalez signed with the Blue Jays, but those aren’t the types of deals baseball fans crave. Absent this year were the big deals early in the season. Two years ago the Angels signed Torii Hunter in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Last year the Yankees already had a six-year, $140 million offer out to CC Sabathia. This year we’ve had nothing of the sort, and yesterday’s activities explained why.

At midnight, the deadline passed for teams to offer their own free agents arbitration. If a team signed a Type A or Type B player before his former team decided whether to offer him arbitration, the former team would receive compensation. The Angels signed Hunter and the Yankees made a huge offer to Sabathia because it was assumed that their teams would offer them arbitration. Things weren’t so certain this year. Of the 21 Type A free agents eligible for arbitration offers, only 10 received them. Teams proceeded with caution, not wanting to get stuck with a player at the wrong price.

Johnny Damon was among the Type As not offered arbitration. While this doesn’t make the Yankees’ desire to retain Damon any clearer, it does tell us that they do not want to pay him $15 million next season. If they do want him back, they want him on a lesser contract. Maybe that’s one year, maybe it’s one with an option, maybe it’s two. But the AAV of any contract will not be in the $13 million range, or else the Yankees probably would have made the offer.

(This actually made me think of Buster Olney’s quip from Monday, about the Yankees “getting the right player at the right price.” Maybe Damon is the right player, but his arbitration price would not be right. Hence, they declined. Compensation draft picks are nice, but not when they interfere with your major league roster construction.)

As he does with all of his clients, Scott Boras has been talking up Damon. He dropped a mention of “three to four teams who are seriously interested,” but that was in the hypothetical. It’s not quite clear which teams are interested in Damon, but if one of them is willing to offer Damon three or four years, he’ll soon be an ex-Yankee. Even if a two-year deal emerges, there’s no guarantee the Yankees will match. Again, they want their player at the right price. Those are two tough parameters to reconcile, but it seems to be the Yanks M.O. these days.

Even though Damon could return, the Yankees will likely move forward planning for life without him. Since an outfield of Cabrera, Gardner, and Swisher is not ideal, the team could look for help on the open market. That brings us back to a familiar name: Mike Cameron. Though the Yankees have not said anything about the free agent center fielder, they have expressed interest in him as recently as last winter. He was under contract with the Brewers then, but now, as a free agent, he could attract the Yankees.

Buster Olney opens a blog post with a bit on Cameron, who, at age 36, is one of the oldest center fielders in the league. Even so, he ranked third in the majors in UZR at his position, and eighth in wOBA. He wouldn’t match Damon’s offense, especially as a righty at Yankee Stadium, but he could help compensate with his defense. Combine that with a one-year contract, and Cameron might be, to borrow Olney’s phrase, a fit for the Yankees.

It sounds like Cameron could be interested, too, given the quote Olney provides.

“I feel like I can still play one of the better center fields in the game,” Cameron said the other day. “I feel like I can play with the best of them. At the same time, you have to understand if you want to be in the right spot, [moving to corner outfield] might be an option you want to take. … I’m just trying to get in the right spot to get in the playoffs.”

So he’s willing to move to a corner, and he wants to play for a playoff contender. It sounds like maybe, just maybe he was hinting at the Yankees. He could have been hinting at other teams, of course — perhaps the Red Sox would show interest if Jason Bay and Matt Holliday sign elsewhere. But there is definitely a fit with the Yankees. Hey, he even stays in touch with former teammate CC Sabathia, with whom he played for just half a season.

If Damon leaves the Yankees for a larger contract, I would think Cameron sits next on the list. He and Matsui, both on one-year contracts, would help the Yankees’ lineup in 2010 without tying up those positions long-term. That essentially buys the Yankees another year to evaluate their young players and come up with a longer term solution in the outfield. For Cameron it would mean playing for a contender — he could even play center, too, with Cabrera moving over to left. That would create a good defensive alignment while providing ample offense.

Categories : Hot Stove League

205 Comments»

  1. Doug says:

    hey joe, rumor has it that there’s quite the interest in cameron. do you think 2 years will be necessary to ink him? if not, what kind of 1 year deal do you offer him…i’m thinking somewhere in the $8M-$10M range

  2. Evil Empire says:

    If Damon re-signs, Cameron could still be the man.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      Yeah this is what I want to see happen. I want Damon and Cameron…let Matsui walk. Drew mentioned it below, but Damon + Cameron is really ideal b/c of what they do to the lineup with JD hitting 2nd and Cameron hitting 9th (most days) with 25 HR power. It also gives the Yankees a lot of versatility in the outfield.

      I know we all love Cameron for his defense, but Bill James has him projected to hit .237 with 170 SO and I can’t say I disagree with that projection. That’s a shit-ton of strikeouts out of that position. In my opinion, what I’m really hoping for is a Damon, Cameron/Melky, Swisher outfield. I love that dynamic. It doesn’t work nearly as well w/o Damon and what he brings offensively.

      • If you let Matsui walk and bring in Damon and Cameron, do you bring in another DH or do you have Melky rock out left and Damon DH?

        • JMK aka The Overshare says:

          Wrong. Brett Gardner DHs.

        • sciorsci says:

          I would imagine that if the Yankees committed to Damon & Cameron the DH would be some combination of:

          Posada (~40 games)
          Damon (~25 games)
          ARod (~15 games)
          Jeter (~10 games)
          Teixeira (~10 games)
          Swisher (~10 games)
          Cano (~5 games)
          Cameron (~5 games)
          Cabrera (~5 games)
          Gardner (~5 games)

          Factor in interleague games, and you’re looking at maybe 25 other games that would require a DH. You could probably spread those out amongst the regulars listed above, or you could probably get some ABs to a September call-up, such as Miranda, Jackson or Montero.

          • chriso says:

            1) Re-sign Pettitte
            2) Let Damon walk.
            3) Trade Kennedy/Romine/McAllister/Aceves for Granderson/E. Jackson
            4) Re-sign Matsui to DH/PH.
            5) Hughes to the rotation, Joba to the bullpen
            6) Sign Mike Cameron

            Rotation: Sabathia/Burnett/Jackson/Pettitte/Hughes
            Bullpen: Robertson/Coke/Aceves/Melancon/Marte/Joba/Mo
            Lineup: Jeter-SS/Cano-2B/Tex-1B/A-Rod-3B/Matsui-DH/Posada-C/Granderson-CF/Swisher-RF/Cabrera-LF
            Bench: Cervelli/Pena/Gardner/Cameron

  3. Drew says:

    This is why I think the wheeling and dealing with Damon will not be a long drawn out process. The longer JD takes to accept a deal, the better chance someone will beat us to the punch on Cam.

    My biggest thing with losing Johnny isn’t replacing his offensive output per say, it’s replacing that output/ability in the form of a #2 batter. I wouldn’t be too comfortable with Swish hitting 2.

    • sciorsci says:

      Wouldn’t Cano be the more likely replacement in the #2 hole?

      • Doug says:

        not enough patience for that spot

        • sciorsci says:

          I don’t necessarily believe that Cano would be the ideal replacement, or even, sabermetrically speaking, the best option from those currently on the roster. What I meant to infer was that he would be Girardi’s most likely choice. I do agree that his lack of patience and OBP (in terms of the skill set associated with a #2 hitter) would make him a less-than-perfect choice, but I believe he’d get the first crack at the job if no superior top-of-the-order hitter was acquired.

          It’s one thing for us to discuss what we believe to be the correct choices for the Yankees to make (it’s the greatest part about the comments section, IMO), but to do so in a vacuum, with no consideration for what the Yankees are likely to actually do has no value.

          • Doug says:

            but swisher batted there some last year (76 ABs) so girardi obviously feels comfortable with him in that spot

            • sciorsci says:

              Fair enough; I stand corrected. I suppose Swish would be the logical successor to the #2 hole then, for Girardi as well as on here. That’s not to say they wouldn’t prioritize a leadoff or #2 hitter as an acquisition (with DJ taking the other spot, obviously), but I guess Swisher makes the most sense there*.

              * Damon, IMO, makes the most sense, obviously, but this is in the event that Damon is not retained.

          • barry says:

            Swisher’s career line in the 2 hole over 161 games= 238/.360/.459. Cano’s line in 2 hole over 70 games= 272/.293/.415. You have to imagine hitting in front of Tex and A-Rod would benefit both player’s greatly but I like Swisher’s patience over Cano’s hacking in the 2 spot because it gives Tex and Arod more oppurtunites to drive in runs.

  4. Doug says:

    Oh, and by the way, I see Rafael Betancourt being this year’s Juan Cruz. Type A who’s just not that great. Teams are going to shy away because of the draft pick compensation.

  5. bkight13 says:

    I don’t get all this love for Cameron. So the Yankees pay him $10M to play LF/CF at 37 because they are afraid that they might have to pay Holliday $16M in 2015 when he’s 36. Holliday makes this team alot better for the next 5 years and fills one of the positions that there is no help for in the minors. Signing Cameron with the hopes of getting Crawford or someone as good as Holliday next year is a mistake in my opinion.

    • jim p says:

      I’m with you. We’ve got enough high-strikeout/homer guys already. Everyone wants a pitcher with a high K/9 ratio, because they win more, and win even more in the post-season.

      So, isn’t the corollary then that teams that strike out too much are at a severe disadvantage? The post-season, where good pitching (high K/9 types) routinely beats good hitting bears that out.

      For a slightly better defense, you weaken yourself in the post-season (though maybe not over 162 games). No Cameron for me, nor Dunn.

      • whozat says:

        You forgot the walks. Strikeout pitchers who also don’t walk too many win. Hitters who strikeout a lot, but balance it with walks and power are still valuable.

        And calling Cameron’s D “slightly better” than Damon’s at this point in their careers is flat out inaccurate. Cameron is still one of the best CENTER fielders in the big leagues. Damon was a less-than-mediocre defensive LEFT fielder last year.

        In sum…you fail at reasoning.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          Agreed completely.

          Robbie Cano, who doesn’t K a lot, can struggle as can Swisher, who does, in the postseason. . The postseason is too small a sample size.

          Ryan Howard, who K’s a LOT, can either be the best hitter on the planet or be an utter failure in the playoffs, and we saw both just this postseason.

          • jim p says:

            But I’m talking about the post-season. I don’t see that the absence of Cameron is going to cost us a place in the playoffs. Do you? Even without Damon? I’m saying too many strike-outs against the quality pitching you face PS can cost you winning in the playoffs.

            And I also pointed out we have guys who K a lot already. I’m not saying you don’t want anyone at all who does that. I’m saying when you’ve got 4 or 5, having six doesn’t really help you to win Championship ballgames.

            • Salty Buggah says:

              I dont think it would matter much. Teams that K a lot will be fine as long as they keep walking, which they probably will.

              • Salty Buggah says:

                Though I see somewhat where you’re coming from. It could be an interesting study. After a very short and quick look at the stats for K% for a team on Fangraphs, you’re argument is slightly supported by the facts. I was looking at the winners and teams that made the playoffs (again, I literally just glanced at a couple of seasons). However, I dont think it should be viewed like that. There are too many factors, obviously pitching, that determine who wins. If I only had time to find the relationship between regular season and postseason performance using K rates (like see if teams that K the most had worse or better postseasons, etc…though that could be moot since the postseason is such a SSS)

        • jim p says:

          No. I said slightly better defense overall, not compared to Damon. That was your preoccupation, not mine. I’m thinking of what?, overall, 1 or 2 more wins over 162 games versus losing vs. dominating pitching in the post-season.

          And I didn’t forget walks, since I was talking about strikeouts and I was talking specifically about the post-season. Which, in general, is where you face dominating pitchers.

          In sum…you missed it.

      • I think you’re misunderstanding the concept of pitcher strikeouts. Those are good because they prevent a ball from being put in play. That takes luck and randomness out of the equation, and gives a quick out.

        For a batter, a strikeout is just a subset of the all-encompassing “out.” So Cameron will get fewer base hits because he’s putting the ball in play less than other hitters. But he also has skills that off-set that. He gets on base at a decent clip, so he’s not using many more outs than other players. He also has power, which very valuable.

        So, to sum up, pitcher strikeouts are good because they eliminate the need for another factor, defense, which creates a whole new situation. Strikeouts aren’t bad for hitters because they’re just a subset of outs, and because the hitter does other things well.

    • Mattchu12 says:

      I agree on the confusion over why Cameron is so great, disagree on the love for Holliday. On the right contract, I’m all for signing Holliday. He would be a good addition to the lineup at the right price. But I don’t think we will see the right price anytime soon.

      Hence, I vote we sign Johnny Damon to a two year, sixteen to twenty million dollar deal with a vesting option for a third year based on performance. Matsui on a one year, eight million dollar deal with a vesting option for a second year based on performance. Pettitte gets another one year deal with a player option for a second year, I’d put the deal at twelve million bucks.

      Because of their desire to return to New York, I think they take those deals.

      • Mattchu12 says:

        And on those vesting deals, i’m talking about like:

        Damon needs to bat .270 with 10 homers and 65 runs batted in during the 2011 season.

        Matsui needs to bat .265 with 15 homers and 80 runs batted in during the 2010 season.

        If they do that, their options vest to cause the third and second years of their respective deals to become guaranteed years. Fair deals if you ask me.

        • Ant says:

          You can’t do vesting deals on performance, only on IP’s and games played I beleive.

          • Mattchu12 says:

            If that is true, then I stand corrected. Though they do work contract incentives for stuff like that, I don’t see why we couldn’t do the same. But I’m not about to say if you can or you can’t, because I honestly don’t know.

            • Salty Buggah says:

              Yea, you cant do those based on performance. I’d go one year at about 8-10 mil with a team option for a 2nd and that’s all.

    • iYankees says:

      IMO, bkight13 is right.

    • I don’t get all this love for Cameron. So the Yankees pay him $10M to play LF/CF at 37 because they are afraid that they might have to pay Holliday $16M in 2015 when he’s 36.

      For the record, we’re not choosing Cameron over Holliday because we’re afraid of having to pay Holliday 16M in 2015 when he’s 36.

      We’re afraid of having to pay Holliday 21M in 2015 when he’s 36.

  6. cor shep says:

    I’d love to see Cameron in CF with Damon as DH.

    Jeter-Damon-Tex-Al-Jopo-Cano-Cam-Melk

    Whats a lineup that’d be.

    But what it I don’t get is that in this scenario, people would want Melk in left and Swish in right.

    Wouldn’t Swish be better in left due to his average arm? A right fielders arm has to be better than the left fielders usually. And Melk has that great arm. What am I missing here.

  7. The Artist says:

    “Absent this year were the big deals early in the season. Two years ago the Angels signed Torii Hunter in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Last year the Yankees already had a six-year, $140 million offer out to CC Sabathia. This year we’ve had nothing of the sort, and yesterday’s activities explained why.”

    After living in this economy for the past few years, we forget the environment that used to exist in Baseball free agency. Once upon a time, it was the SMART move to sign someone early, because free agent markets tended to get inflated as the winter wore on. Teams that signed someone early very often got a bargain.

    Last year, that was flipped on its head. The teams that signed players early were kicking themselves by January, seeing what was still available and the prices they were going for. Now, everyone is bargain hunting. Sitting back and waiting for someone to drop in their lap.

    In this environment, the Damon arb decision makes sense. Baseball revenues were down last year for the first time in ages. It’s very unlikely any of the top FAs will get their asking price met unless the Yanks or Sox are bidding on them. If the Sox were to nab Damon, the Yanks would have Bay, Holliday and Cameron to choose from. That’s not a bad Plan B.

  8. whitey says:

    Say no to Mike C

    • Tom Zig says:

      Say no hell f***in yes! to Mike C

      Fixed that for ya

      • steve s says:

        There is much groupthink on this website about Cameron. Take a look at what he did after the All-Star break last year. You think he is magically going to do better in a new league and being one year older. You think that hole in his bat is somehow going to magically shrink so that he is no longer a strikeout machine. Wake-up on this guy already.

  9. Grover says:

    “The Artist” is spot on on the market. We need to lose the sentimental crap. Damon and Matsui on one year deals with a team option or goodbye. Cashman will focus on Halladay and eventually Pettite and use the balance on one year deals for the outield, dH, pen and/or bench. Remember Abreu last year at $5M? There will be large quantities of low hanging fruit.

  10. Jake H says:

    I do think that it has to be the right deal for the Yanks.

  11. [...] Joseph Pawlikowski at River Avenue Blues reports that if the Yankees don’t re-sign Johnny Damon, that Mike Cameron is a likely [...]

  12. theyankeewarrior says:

    The best thing about Cameron is his versatility. The Yankees could sign two of Damon, Holliday, Matsui, Bay etc. and still have a good fit for him.

    If we have LF and DH taken care of, he can play CF. At worst, he is a 4th OF like Swisher was to start last season.

    Are we all forgetting that at least one or two of our OF/DH types go down for extended time EVERY season?

    There is no reason not to want this guy on the 2010 Yankees.

  13. Mike says:

    i’m all set with Cameron. Not sure how he helps us. I guarantee he won’t hit 25 homeruns. and he’ll strike out a ton.

    Some will love the signing , but i guarantee when he’s hitting 250. and striking out 15 times a week. those same people will be flipping out on Cashman.

    Next !

    • Doug says:

      he’s a poor man’s swisher with the bat who plays very good defense. could do a lot worse for a year.

    • I think the people posting here in favor of a Cameron signing know enough to look past batting average and strikeouts for a player’s value.

      • Mike says:

        Yeah WOW he can catch the ball. so can’t gardner. Whats your point. He can hit 25 homeruns or walk 75 times a year. Yeah.. not good enough for me or the Yanks. not even for one year.

        The Strikeouts and the poor OB percentage will Haunt us in the playoffs . he’ll be an easy out every time up.

        You can keep his glove . i’m all set

        • Doug says:

          his OBP is league average at worst. good enough for your #8 hitter

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          Wow your sarcasm is terrible. It’s not simply “catching a ball.” It’s having great range so you can catch a ball anywhere. That’s valuable.

          It’s basically an upgrade of Brett Gardner. Better hitting skills and probably around the same defense. So yeah your statement about not being good enough for the Yankees is laughable when he’s a good upgrade from their previous CF.

        • Yeah.. not good enough for me or the Yanks. not even for one year.

          So what do you want out of CF? Carlos Beltran? That ship has sailed, my friend.

          The Strikeouts and the poor OB percentage will Haunt us in the playoffs . he’ll be an easy out every time up.

          He doesn’t have a poor OBP. It’s .340 for his career. It’s not stellar, but it’s good for CF.

          If you don’t like Cameron in CF, who do you like there?

          • Keanu Reeves says:

            Yes. I think some people forget that there’s really not very many great center fielder’s playing today. Matt Kemp, Sizemore when he’s healthy, and maybe Beltran. There’s not a ton of depth after that. So, in Cameron, your putting, IMO, one of the top 10 center fielders in baseball on your team.

            A guy like Cameron, who’s above average defensively and hits for power, in the Yankees lineup seems like a fine idea to me.

    • Some will love the signing , but i guarantee when he’s hitting 250. and striking out 15 times a week. those same people will be flipping out on Cashman.

      Dumb people, sure.

      Smart people recognize that a player can still be a valuable offensive weapon even if he’s hitting .250 and striking out 15 times a week, because offensive production is not encapsulated by those two metrics alone.

      I’m not going to let the overreactions of the ignorant or the dense guide my team personnel acquisition decisionmaking.

  14. I wonder what a minus-Damon, plus-Cameron and Matsui lineup would look like. The two-hole would be hard to peg down, I believe. Some would likely want Cano there, but I think his lack of patience makes him an iffy candidate there. Cano’s better served lower in the order with the high on-base guys in front of him so he can drive them in w/his power. Swisher would probably be the best candidate because of his top-notch on base skills. Out of the two spot, he could give the same production (albeit in slightly different ways) as Damon did in ’09. If that were the case–no Damon, but Matsui and Cameron–I’d throw this lineup out there every day:

    1. Jeter SS
    2. Swisher RF
    3. Teixeira 1B
    4. Rodriguez 3B
    5. Matsui DH
    6. Posada C
    7. Cano 2B
    8. Cameron CF
    9. Cabrera LF

    • Doug says:

      yup, that’d be my lineup to.

      figuring out the 2 spot is actually where we’d miss damon the most if he leaves…he was so good there.

      • Yeah, but the Yankees have at least one under-contract option to solve that potential problem (Swisher, as we’ve shown above) or they could go out and get someone specifically for that spot: Nick Johnson. It might take a little more money since he’d be DHing 99% of the time, but if he’d be willing to take on a DH’s role in NY, he’d be a great, great fit in the two spot.

  15. theyankeewarrior says:

    So the Mets got nothing for Wagner and the Red Sox just got 2 picks?

  16. Mike HC says:

    I just don’t see the Melky, Cameron, Swisher outfield as a real option. Cameron should not be considered a replacement for Damon, but a compliment to the outfield we already had.

    And forget about him moving to a corner outfield spot. He was one of the best defensive centerfielders last year. The Yanks would have to be retarded to sign him to play LF and not CF. Playing CF is the reason he is so sought after. He would be just another above average hitting corner outfielder. We can find those without signing Cameron.

    Love to sign Cameron as a CF, with Swisher, and above average hitting LF (hopefully Damon)

    • But again, Cameron the LF may only be a league average player, but that may still be the best option amongst other options that are either far inferior or too expensive.

      If we’re both running away from a hungry bear, I don’t have to be fast. I just have to be faster than you.

      • Doug says:

        question though, why would you move cameron to left and not melky as cameron is the better CF

        • Mike HC says:

          I agree with this.

          I guess Gardner would still get some starts though, and when he starts, it might be a good idea to use Cameron in LF while he plays CF for rest purposes, assuming Gardner is as good defensively as Cameron, which it seemed like last year.

          Other than that, most of the time, it would be Melky in LF and Cameron in CF.

          • Rose says:

            assuming Gardner is as good defensively as Cameron, which it seemed like last year.

            Small sample size. He very well could be…but nobody knows for sure. Damon’s UZR in LF in 2007 and in 2008 were significantly better than in 2009 because he played less games there. Once he got more opportunities we saw how his UZR became more realistic. Not saying this is what happens to everybody on the planet…but there’s still a chance…not to mention his bat stinks badly.

        • Because Cameron is older than Melky.

          I’d gamble on the hunch that moving him to LF will keep him slightly fresher, and his plus range there will become plus-plus range in the smaller area to cover.

          Frankly, though, it’s a tossup. Cameron, Melky, and Gardner are all solid outfielders; any of them can handle both CF or LF.

          I don’t care whom you play where, to be honest.

      • Mike HC says:

        I see what you are saying, but I think if it came to that, the Yanks would have fucked it up a little bit. I can’t see how the plan could possibly entail signing Cameron to deal which would surely be valued as a CF, so he can play LF all season. While it might be the best option at some point, I think that means something went wrong.

      • Rose says:

        I love the analogy, although I don’t see how it fits lol. Why would you put Cameron in LF at all?

        If you’re faster than me but wearing slabs of raw meat as clothes…and I’m not…the hungry bear probably will go after you instead. lol

    • A.D. says:

      He would be just another above average hitting corner outfielder.

      Not necessarily, there isn’t a huge abundance available.

      • Mike HC says:

        true, but there are some options out there, and there could be others available in minor trades that we as fans are not aware of.

    • The best scenario, IMO, is Damon in left, Cameron in CF, Swisher in right, with Matsui at DH. That way, you basically run out the same lineup as last year, only w/o Melky and with some better defense in CF. It also puts Melky on the bench, where he could be less exposed than he would be in the starting lineup. He could also, to again borrow TSJC’s phrase, “aggressively spell” Damon in LF and Cameron in CF if/when one of them, or Matsui, needs a day off.

      If Matsui does go, you could use a semi-rotating DH with Damon splitting time in LF a variety of ways. Plus, if the Yankees want to, they could go out and get a full time DH. The options, though, aside from Damon and Matsui are wearing thing. I don’t expect Russell the Muscle to be available, Thome’s aging fast, and the same goes for Vlad. That really just leaves Nick Johnson, but who knows if he wants to just DH. It’d be fantastic if he did want to, though.

  17. A.D. says:

    Pair this with:

    I’m just trying to get in the right spot to get in the playoffs.

    This:

    if any free agents are curious about playing for the Yankees, Derek Jeter says they’re welcome to call and ask him any questions they might have. Jeter could save himself some time by simply mailing every prospective free agent a picture of his hand wearing five World Series rings.

  18. Rose says:

    It’s not quite clear which teams are interested in Damon, but if one of them is willing to offer Damon three or four years, he’ll soon be an ex-Yankee.

    And to think…the Red Sox wouldn’t even offer him 4 years…4 years ago when he was much younger…

  19. The Ed(itor) says:

    I can’t think of a worse idea than signing Mike Cameron. He is old, too expensive, he can field, but can’t hit. I would rather play Austin Jackson than sign Cameron. Younger, cheaper and better.

    • Doug says:

      no chance that jackson is better than cameron in 2010

    • Mike HC says:

      See I don’t get a comment like this. Signing Cameron would solely be an addition, assuming it does not preclude us from resigning Damon, which I don’t think it will. We don’t lose Jackson, Melky, or anybody else. He can’t hurt the team, it does not hamstring the team financially in any way, and you personally don’t have to spend a penny.

      So, as a fan, I’m not sure how you could be against this.

    • He is old

      Yes. He’s shown ZERO sign of decline yet, though. Not a single one.

      too expensive

      A one year contract at less than 10M is not “too expensive” for the Yankees, or for a guy of Cameron’s talent. It’s just fine.

      he can field

      Quite well, yes.

      but can’t hit.

      Mike Cameron, BA/OBP/SLG, OPS+
      1999 – .256/.357/.469, 105+
      2000 – .267/.365/.438, 107+
      2001 – .267/.353/.480, 123+
      2002 – .239/.340/.442, 109+
      2003 – .253/.344/.431, 108+
      2004 – .231/.319/.479, 104+
      2005 – .273/.342/.477, 114+
      2006 – .268/.355/.482, 121+
      2007 – .242/.328/.431, 104+
      2008 – .243/.331/.477, 111+
      2009 – .250/.342/.452, 111+

      Mike Cameron CAN hit.

    • How expensive is Mike Cameron going to be? $8-10MM at most? That’s not expensive for most teams, let alone the Yankees.

      Secondly, the chances of 2010 Austin Jackson being better than 2010 Mike Cameron are about as small as small can be.

  20. Bo says:

    Yea Cameron would have been great in CF. 6 yrs ago.

  21. Bo says:

    Why over think this if Damon doesnt want a nice 2 yr deal?

    Just put Holliday out in LF for the next 4-5 yrs.

    Not like they couldnt use the power bat in the OF.

  22. Steve H says:

    Mike Cameron = Torii Hunter without a long term contract.

    If Torii Hunter were available for 1 year/$10 million or so, wouldn’t all of the Cameron bashers be lining up to sign him?

  23. Mac says:

    Player A:

    close and late 18 RBI .754 ops

    High Leverage 4 HR 32 RBI .750 ops

    Player B:

    C&L 3 RBI .744 ops

    HL 3 HR 25 RBI .741 ops

  24. Michael Kay says:

    alright lets just get this over with for cashman’s infatuation with mike cameron. its like what my uncle did with my cousin when she had a similar crush on their dirtbag neighbor boy. Let her date him for a couple of weeks till he got arrested for stealing a pack of cigs at 7-Eleven and let it be done for good.

  25. Damaso Garcia completes the double play says:

    Cashman’s “getting younger” theme will be losing lots of water if Cameron wears a Yankee uniform. Curtis Granderson – if actually available without giving up every prospect (or supposed prospect) – gives the Yanks a leadoff batter as well as getting the average age of their starting outfield closer to 30 than 40 (never a bad thing).

  26. [...] about players not under contract. Johnny Damon remains the favorite, but we’ve also discussed Mike Cameron and Matt Holliday. It doesn’t appear that the Yankees plan to move quickly on a left fielder, [...]

  27. [...] Buster Olney notes this morning that the Yankees sifted through their outfield options during their organizational meetings, and two names that aren’t options (for whatever reasons) are Matt Holliday and Jason Bay. I’m guessing it’s the combination of lots of dollars and lots of years. Olney says that Johnny Damon remains their top target for left field, but only if he comes down to $7-8M for a year or two. Plan B is Mike Cameron, who we’re very much a fan of. [...]

  28. [...] candidate for the Yankees’ left field vacancy might not be one for much longer. Mike Cameron was a decent alternative to Damon, but he may no longer be an option. Will Carrol tweets that the [...]

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