If Damon departs, Cameron could be the man

Yankees sign Taiwanese infielder
Just say no to Lyon

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.

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Yankees sign Taiwanese infielder
Just say no to Lyon
  • Doug

    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

  • Evil Empire

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

    • Tank the Frank

      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.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        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

          Wrong. Brett Gardner DHs.

          • Angelo

            That better be a joke.

            • JMK aka The Overshare

              Welcome! You must be new here.

              • Angelo

                Nah I’m not new, just haven’t visited this site in a few months. First year of college is a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be.

                • The Three Amigos

                  Then you are not doing something right…

        • sciorsci

          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

            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

  • http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d80/madamsteph/Sports/alg_melky.jpg Drew

    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

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

      • Doug

        not enough patience for that spot

        • sciorsci

          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

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

            • sciorsci

              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

            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.

  • Doug

    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.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      No way dude, that just makes it more likely that he’ll go back to Colorado. They’ve already said they want him back, and have tried to re-sign him already.

      The guy who’s really screwed is Billy Wagner. The Red Sox may have just ended his career.

      • Salty Buggah

        If Sucka Got No Juice is right, the Braves just signed B-Wag.

      • Zack

        If a GM gives up a 1st round pick for Wagner he should be fired

        • Salty Buggah

          Unless of course you’re the Braves, as they had 2 Type A relievers themselves.

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            Yup. The Braves were basically the one team that had the luxury of signing of a Type A reliever without forfeiting much because of their own Type A relievers. How absurd.

            • Patch

              You got it, from MLB rumors:

              “Braves To Sign Billy Wagner”

              • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                I know I got it. I wrote that comment an hour and a half after the Wagner news broke. The benefits of staying up way too late!

        • Ant

          Imagine if a GM traded Wagner late into the season for shit when he could of held on to him and gotten a first round pick?

          • johnny

            right? totally sounds like a mets move to me…oh wait.

        • Zack

          Yeah forgot about the Braves, getting 4 picks back in Soriano/Gonzalez makes up for losing 1. Except still mad Boston gets their 20th overall pick- if they dont sign anyone else.

          But still 7m for 38year old Wagner 1 year off of TJS as a closer? I thought the trend was that the love for closers was disappearing.

      • Patch

        Won’t Wagner just accept the arbitration offer?

        That way he screws the Red Sox out of a roster spot.

        • Doug

          just signed with the braves for $7M, plus 2011 vesting option for $6.5M

          • Doug

            And just to screw the Sox, here’s hoping that the Braves sign Lackey, Holliday, Scutaro, or Valverde.

            • Observer

              Posted by Mike A at 12:45am: The guy who’s really screwed is Billy Wagner. The Red Sox may have just ended his career.

              Wagner signs with Atlanta at 12:46am.
              At least you guys do not present yourselves as experts.

              • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/11/open-thread-you-have-the-red-sox-19930/ the artist formerly known as (sic)

                who wrote this, Interested Reader?

                • The Three Amigos

                  Didn’t the red sox just get way more value for wagner then the mets did?

                • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/11/open-thread-you-have-the-red-sox-19930/ the artist formerly known as (sic)

                  and why is this a reply to my comment?

                • Bo

                  Great job again by the mets. They could have got 2 draft picks but I’m sure 26 yr old career minor leaguers who dont have a position are better.

                  Typical case of a team being cheap. They just didnt want to pay 2 picks 5+ mil.

              • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                At least you guys do not present yourselves as experts.

                At least we’re willing to admit when we were wrong unlike any of the so-called experts you see on TV or hear on the radio. Anyway, the Braves are pretty much the only team willing to sign a Type A free agent because they have two of their own. They’ll get the draft picks back. Did you think of that too, anonymous coward Observer?

  • bkight13

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

          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.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        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

      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

        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

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

          • Mattchu12

            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

              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.

    • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

      IMO, bkight13 is right.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      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.

      • Doug

        nah, i’m afraid to pay him $16M too

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Heh.

          Touché.

      • scoopemup

        Cameron would sink the batting order.Not worth it,even for a year.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          If Gardbrera didn’t sink the batting order, Cameron wouldn’t. Because Cameron will outhit Melky and Brett, easily.

      • bkight13

        I don’t think Holliday will get that kind of deal. If the Yankees have reservations, then what about everyone else. I think he will get around 6/96 or maybe 5/100. With a signing bonus or front-loading the deal, the Yankees could lessen the risk in the later years, if that’s the main concern.

  • cor shep

    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.

    • Joe B.

      LF at Yankees Stadium = huge
      Swisher’s range in the OF = questionable

      • pat

        Yup, good range is much more important than a strong arm.

      • Reggie C.

        Yeah. I think i’ve under-estimated the wearing down Damon must’ve felt after playing LF for most of the reg season. It likely compounded the playoff hitting funk. Cameron’s healthier.

    • scoopemup

      Nate McClouth would look good in CF for us,real good if we put Melky in LF,despite him not having a corner OF bat.

      • Doug

        except he’d cost us something in a trade and he’s really not that good a CF

        • scoopemup

          Smarter than going after Cameron,and he is a bit younger.

          • Doug

            but cameron’s a better overall player than mclouth and he’d only cost us $

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Wrong. Cameron costs nothing but money. McLouth costs prospects AND money.

            And,

            McLouth, 2009 – .256/.352/.436 (109+), +3.6 CF UZR
            Cameron, 2009 – .250/.342/.452 (111+), +10.0 CF UZR

            Cameron for nothing but money for a year >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> giving up ANYTHING for Nate McLouth

            Seriously, this has to be a joke.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        scoopemup = Mike Francesa?

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    “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.

  • whitey

    Say no to Mike C

    • Tom Zig

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

      Fixed that for ya

      • steve s

        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.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Who’s saying he’s not going to strikeout a lot? Chances are he does strikeout a lot again, but luckily, he has other abilities that help offset his strikeouts. He walks ~75 times per 162 games and hits ~25 homers per 162. Those are good things.

          • Mike

            He won’t hit 25 homeruns . .Not in the American league where theres far better pitching .

            • Reggie C.

              Power translates.

              Look at Jason Bay.

              • Doug

                case in point…..in his 4 years w the mariners, he averaged 22 dingers

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Okay, say he hits 18-20 homers instead of 23-25. For a CF in the AL–who also plays good defense and would likely bat towards the bottom of the order–that would be a very good value.

            • KayGee

              Mike Cameron in 2000 and 2001 in with Seattle

              25 home runs each year

              • KayGee

                Correction… 2001 and 2002

              • Steve H

                Mike Cameron, 4 HR’s in one game…………..in the AL!!

                Sign him. (and bring in Manny to DH)

        • http://theyankeeway.mlblogs.com/ Keanu Reeves

          The great thing about Cameron in a Yankee uniform is that they don’t need him to magically turn into a superstar again. They have so much talent around him already.

          If he plays great defense, hits 15-20 home runs or so and gets on base say 35% of the time, I’ll take that any day of the week.

  • Grover

    “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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You lost me at “Cashman will focus on Halladay”.

      No, he won’t.

      • Bo

        God forbid Cashman focuses on the best starting pitcher and improves the rotation!

        • Doug

          that’ll be next year’s task when halladay, lee, and cain among others will be available for $ only

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Halladay is under contract to the Blue Jays.

          Once that situation changes, Cashman will then focus on adding him. That’s the smart way to handle the Halladay situation.

  • http://thetundrablog.blogspot.com/ Jake H

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

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Which it very easily could be. I don’t see there being much demand for Cameron.

      • Doug

        i’ve read that there’s actually a lot of demand for him. but he apparently wants to play for a contender so that obviously puts us near the top of a short list.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          The only thing we’ve heard so far is that the Padres were going to offer him a 1/7.

          If the Pads are offering him a 1/7 to babysit some kids and wallow around last place in the NL West, we can beat that offer simply by matching the 1/7.

          • Doug

            the interest i’ve heard in him has been general in nature…nothing specific

            • Bo

              If hes looking for a 1 or 2 yr deal there will be a lot of teams interested. Bos if they lose Bay, SF, NYM, Sea, etc.

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  • theyankeewarrior

    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.

  • Mike

    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

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

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      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

        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

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

        • JobaWockeeZ

          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.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          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?

          • http://theyankeeway.mlblogs.com/ Keanu Reeves

            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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      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.

      • Doug

        but man, if he’s striking out 15 times a week, wouldn’t that be something, huh….upwards of 400 for the season.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          True.

          Which makes Mike’s original statement ridiculous hyperbole, since Cameron would never strike out 15 times a week.

          Cammy’s single season high-K total was 176, in 158 games from 2002. That’s basically 8 K a week, not 15.

          For his career, he’s got slightly less than one K per game. That’s quite far from 15 K per week.

      • A.D.

        Also smart people will realize that’s the player that he is, can’t expect him to suddenly change.

      • scoopemup

        Tight game in the 2010 playoffs, Cameron batting with runners on in a tight game,talk to me then after he whiffs.

        • Doug

          so you’re saying that cameron helped us get into the 2010 playoffs. i’ll take that, thanks

          • scoopemup

            Human windmill,soon to be on the decline.At a certain age that bat gets heavier and heavier.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              And even with all those negatives, he’s still a productive player and the best available option.

              Cameron >>>>>>>>>>> McLouth

            • Doug

              but he has shown no decline at all so far, so why would you think it’d happen overnight.

              and we’re not talking about a long-term deal, it’s for 1 year

        • sciorsci

          Or when even the best hitters in baseball make some sort of out 60% of the time.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    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

      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.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        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.

        • Doug

          true about johnson. what we’d be missing with swisher or johnson there is the speed damon brought to the spot

  • theyankeewarrior

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

    • Doug

      they got Chris Carter and Eddie Lora (yeah, essentially nothing)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Theo had a pretty “meh” offseason last year, but the Wagner move was a nice stroke for the Sox. Bully for them, they played it beautifully.

        • Doug

          most definitely

  • Mike HC

    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)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      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

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

        • Mike HC

          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

            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.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          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

        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

        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.

      He would be just another above average hitting corner outfielder.

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

      • Mike HC

        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.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      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.

      • Rose

        I like that scenario too but I don’t think they’ll do it. They’ll want 2 out of the 3 but I highly doubt they go for all 3. They’re trying to cut payroll…and I think they liked what they saw from the platooning Melky/Gardner amalgam in CF. Besides, say this does happen…where does Gardner go??

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          The bench? Scranton? Traded for spare parts? Get the guys, worry about Gardner later.

      • Doug

        agree with signing cameron and bringing back both damon and matsui. likelihood of it happening in my opinion is slim to none. just don’t see us shelling out $30M for those guys.

        as for thome, i know this was brought up in the podcast too, but is he aging THAT fast? .847 OPS is still pretty good and pretty much on par with matsui

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          True, but in the last two years, he’s dipped down pretty sharply from where he was. He’d be fuckin’ nasty w/that short porch, but I think the Yankees’d rather go w/what they know.

          • Doug

            yeah, but would you rather have thome for $5M (say) or matsui for $10M?

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              I’d have to think long and hard about that one.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                That’s what HE said!

      • Mike HC

        This is what it should be (your first para).

        Last year we went into the year with an outfield/DH of Matsui, Damon, Swisher, Nady, Melky, Gardner.

        Next year, we don’t have Nady, Damon, or Matsui. That is unacceptable to lose all of them and replace them with Cameron. Talk about being thin.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Well, yeah, Cameron could not make up for the loss of three guys, two of whom were great contributors to the team last season.

  • A.D.

    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.

  • Rose

    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…

    • Doug

      i’d personally be shocked if gets more than 2 years guaranteed

  • The Ed(itor)

    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

      no chance that jackson is better than cameron in 2010

    • Mike HC

      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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      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.

      • Steve H

        Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good argument.

      • Rose

        He can also strike out A LOT…

        Career
        Hits: 1610
        Walks: 825

        Strike Outs: 1798

        Yikes!

        • Doug

          didn’t stop mantle from being a pretty good player

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Good thing strikeouts don’t count as double vs. other types of outs.

          The fact that he strikes out a lot but still has a .340 career OBP means that while he’s bad at not striking out, he’s good at not popping out, grounding out, flying out or lining out.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      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.

  • Bo

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

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      The Mike Cameron of 6 years ago is totally indistinguishable from the Mike Cameron of today.

      Mike Cameron 2003 puts up the exact same production levels and statlines, both offensively and defensively, as Mike Cameron 2009. If you liked Cammy in CF 6 years ago, Bo, you like him today.

      They’re the same player. Look it up.

      • scoopemup

        ya got some serious Cam Love going on.A human windmill,aka Tony Clark.

        • Doug

          if you’d care to look at cameron’s #s both offensively (other than his Ks) and defensively, maybe you’d realize he’s still one of the better CFers in the game, even at age 36

          • scoopemup

            Not worth it dude.And please don’t compare him to Mantle.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              He didn’t compare him to Mantle.

              He used Mantle to prove a point: Striking out a lot does not, in and of itself, make someone a bad player.

              • scoopemup

                Great glove,great team mate,HR power(not so much in new YS)but a drag in the batting order.That wind tunnel at the stadium has a new partner.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  but a drag in the batting order.

                  You keep saying that, but it’s just not true. Cameron is a safe bet to outproduce the Melky/Gardner amalgam (which didn’t “drag” the batting order much), and he may even equal Damon’s net production (by being a vast defensive upgrade) if we chose to use him in LF as Damon’s replacement.

            • Doug

              but he is comparable to mantle in terms of Ks. do you not recall that mantle was the all-time K leader until reggie jackson supplanted him. oh, and reggie was pretty good too.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Mike Cameron and Tony Clark:

          Two productive veterans who can help a team in the right circumstances and situations, and who may well be the best choice available when other players who are less flawed than they are require larger financial or prospect cost commitments

          • scoopemup

            Not for the Yanks.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Why, because you “say so”?

              You’re drawing a line in the sand? We can’t sign quality (albeit imperfect) vets on one-year stopgap deals because it turns your stomach, we have to constantly have long-term All-Star options at all 9 spots in the batting order to placate your sensibilities?

    • Steve H

      Mike Cameron 6 years ago ops+:104
      Mike Cameron 2009 ops+:111

  • Bo

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

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

      Chances Holliday takes a 4 year deal: 0%
      Chances Holliday takes a 5 year deal: 30-40%, tops

      Your comment should say “Just put Holliday out in LF for the next 4-5 6-7 yrs.

      • Doug

        just shoot me now

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          just shoot me now

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLUMo29iGsU (safe, skip to the 2:15 mark if you’re inclined, or just watch the whole thing and enjoy)

      • Steve H

        If his comment said “Just put Holliday out in LF for the next 6-7 yrs” he would be right, and hell would freeze over.

    • Doug

      what they couldn’t use is another mid-30s player (at the end of the contract) making double what he’s likely to be worth

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

      Evidently BO does not know.

      Holliday is an over rated player. Even if he was or is not who wants another long term deal to clutter up our roster? Besides maybe Borass.

  • Steve H

    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?

    • Doug

      except, based on WAR, it appears that cameron has aged better defensively than hunter has. he may actually be the better overall player

      • Steve H

        Even better. But Torii Hunter is a big name, and I’d be willing to bet 95% of the Cameron bashers would LOVE to have Torii Hunter.

        • Doug

          think you’re being kind with the 95%

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
      • Steve H

        http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_QQ7O....._brown.jpg (safe)

        And remember, I’m a Pats fan, but if you hate the Pats, that’s one player you have to respect.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          The only Pats player I ever respected was Mosi Tatupu.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Torii Hunter, career:
      6008 PA, .274/.330/.472, 107+

      Mike Cameron, career:
      7435 PA, .250/.340/.448, 107+

      • Doug

        Cumulative WAR since 2002:
        Hunter: 23.8
        Cameron: 29.6

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Strikeouts and OBP since 2002:
          Hunter: 799, .336
          Cameron: 1141, .338

          That should illustrate how overinflated the strikeout stat is. Despite striking out 342 more times over the past 7 years, Hunter and Cameron get on base (and make outs) at virtually identical rates.

          Cameron may strike out a lot, but other players who don’t K as much line out, ground out, and pop out more because they put the pitch that Cameron strikes out on into play, weakly, for an out.

          • Doug

            or two, as he’s grounded into 123 DPs in that 8 year time period.

            last i checked, it’s better to make only one out than two.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Well, no, Cameron’s grounded into 64 DPs during that 8 year period, not 123. Don’t know where you got that number from.

              http://www.baseball-reference......g_standard

              • Doug

                was referring to hunter

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Ah, my bad.

                  Carry on, you are correct.

          • scoopemup

            The idea a batter takes to the plate is to hit the ball,put it in play and anything can happen.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              No.

              The idea a batter takes to the plate is to hit the ball hard and well, to get a hit.

              Not simply to “put it in play”.

              • scoopemup

                …and not to strike out.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  No, to not MAKE AN OUT.

                  The goal is not to put the ball in play or not strike out.

                  It’s to get on base and hit the ball hard. Mike Cameron does those things. He strikes out more than the average player, but he makes non-strikeout outs dramatically LESS than the average player, so it’s a net wash.

            • Doug

              Nope, the idea a batter takes to the plate is to get on base. And he does that better than Hunter and just about as well as your boy Mclouth

              • scoopemup

                McClouth is not my boy,so get off that track, but he is a better,a much better option than Mike.

                • Doug

                  even if you had to give up prospects to get him?

                  you’d rather have Mclouth than Cameron + Melky + Mcallister (let’s say)?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  McClouth… is a better, a much better option than Mike.

                  The historical record disagrees with you. Mike Cameron has been the better player, by quite a wide margin, than Nate McLouth has been, strikeouts and all.

                  Cameron plays a better defense, makes outs at a smaller rate, and hits the ball harder and for more power than McLouth does.

        • Doug

          oh, and by the way, while i know WAR isn’t perfect, cameron’s 29.6 is 28th overall amongst hitters and 13th amongst OFs.

          but all the naysayers are right, he’s not worth bringing aboard for a year.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        My world view has just been shaken to its core. Damn you. DAMN YOU!

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

      My eyes tell me Mike is better in the field than Tori. While I think Tori seems like a good guy, I think he is not that great.

      If I could have either one for a one year deal I would possibly only pick Tori because of age and body type.

      So in a convoluted way I agree.

  • Mac

    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

  • Michael Kay

    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.

  • Damaso Garcia completes the double play

    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).

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