Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Cameron Wants Out

Mike Cameron has requested a trade from the Mets. I'm not sure how many teams will be in the market for a centerfielder. And, although he'd be a good fit, I'm not sure he fits into the Nats' budget--the article claims he gets $14 million over the next two years.

I imagine something like Nick Johnson, Tomo Ohka and Endy Chavez could be doable. Whether we should do it is a completely different matter.


  • He's due $6M this season and $8M next. Does this fit within our budget? I think so, when you factor in the likely arbitration awards for whomever we'd trade for him -- in 2004, Johnson made $1.2M, Armas made $2.1M and Okha made $2.34M. We'd probably send Johnson and one of the pitchers for him.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 1/12/2005 11:44 AM  

  • I guess I worded that inartfully. He does fit into the budget, especially when you factor the arbitration-eligibles into it.

    But the bigger question is, does he fit into the budget for the kind of player he is and what our other options are?

    That's a pretty huge chunk of our salary to be committing to an aging player--even if he would be our best player. Especially when locking up Wilkerson should be on the horizon.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 1/12/2005 11:49 AM  

  • Center field would be covered well, no doubt; Cameron also posted a very respectable .472 SLG (playing at Shea, a pitcher's park). But he also comes with an Endy-like OBP of .319 and 143 Ks, tenth in the league.

    -- Gadi

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/2005 11:51 AM  

  • That's the knock Cameron has. He seems to get unfairly knocked for the things he doesn't do, instead of what he does.

    His OBP last year was disappointing, but he does have a career .340. Again, not excpetional, but pretty close to league average.

    Yeah, he strikes out a ton, but strikeouts aren't necessarily a bad thing, despite what the hoary old sportswriters tell ya.

    He will give you gold glove defense (But this should start slipping because of his age) and above average, but not great power.

    If he became a Nat, he'd be our best player not named Brad.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 1/12/2005 11:58 AM  

  • Cameron, from what I understand, played hurt much of last year, which would account for his off-year OBP-wise.

    I don't think we need to worry about Wilkerson being a free agent just yet. He's years away ('07? '08?), and I'm not sure we'd want to lock him up at that point.

    By Blogger Ryan, at 1/12/2005 12:47 PM  

  • Cameron is solid, and anything that results in Endy Chavez on the bench or off the roster is an improvement. But he's also 32 and had a down year last year -- it could be just a blip due to injury and circumstances or it could be the onset of a real decline from acceptable to above average offense into true badness. And I'm increasingly convinced that the smart thing to do is to hold on to Johnson and see what we have ... a healthy season and improved power (which we should cautiously expect given his age) would make him a very valuable player, either on the Nats or as trade bait. Of course, since the smart thing involves patience and inaction in this case, I can't imagine Bowden actually going for it.

    By Blogger Randolph, at 1/12/2005 3:28 PM  

  • I agree with your caution about the age, but I don't know if it's necessarily fair to assess that as a down season. Yeah, his OBP stunk, but he missed his career high in SLG by 1 point, while playing in a pretty tough park on right-handed hitters.

    Now, the ultimate question is whether the drop in OBP and corresponding increase in SLG is just an aberration, or if it's part of a spiral many players seem to go through right before they fall off that cliff.

    For $14 million, I'm not sure I want to find out.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 1/12/2005 3:42 PM  

  • Mets' fan here so I might be biased, but what do you guys think of a Cameron and cash [$2-3 million?] for Sledge trade? From the Nats' perspective, they get a guy who's pretty good offensively for a CFer and also complete what it would be by far the best defensive OF in baseball [Wilkerson, Cameron, Guillen]. For the Mets it makes sense because it clears some salary to go after Delgado, and also nets us someone who can share time with Diaz in right. The Mets could also throw in an Aaron Heilman if Bowden includes a relief prospect.

    By Blogger OFF, at 1/12/2005 4:08 PM  

  • Yeah, the price tag and the age don't make him a bad player, necessarily, just the wrong player for this team, I think. I could make a better case that the Orioles could use him.

    By Blogger Randolph, at 1/12/2005 4:11 PM  

  • Not just a met fan, but a Primer-going Met fan!

    I know that my hesitation about Cameron is because of the money. We've gotta be smart about where we're spending it. And even if the SteMs chipped in a few million, in your trade, we'd still be on the books for quite a bit of money AND the arbitration-set salaries of Johnson and Ohka. We'd definitely be over-budget there. I like the thinking though!

    Now, the Orioles and Cameron.... That's interesting. I'm not convinced they need a CF, but they definitely have room for another big bat or two. They really have a chance to be the surprise team this year, Beattie's protestations, notwithstanding.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 1/12/2005 4:13 PM  

  • Cameron would be a decent fit for the Os -- solid offense (and especially right-handed power) and defense from CF, which would allow Matos to be a fourth OF as a defensive replacement and occasional starter, and would make Hairston or Roberts decent trade bait. (I'm sceptical of the Hairston as an OF experiment.) If they can't get a 1B type, Gibbons can play there, while Surhoff and Matos could platoon in right. It's not an ideal solution for them, but it's workable.

    As for a surprise team, I think they'll need a lot of things to go right -- the young pitching has to develop pretty quickly. I think that Bedard is almost ready, and they've got solid depth between Ainsworth, Chen, Cabrera, Dubose, and Riley for the last couple of spots, but they're pretty weak in the 1/2 spots.

    By Blogger Randolph, at 1/12/2005 4:41 PM  

  • You know us Met-primer fans. We are everywhere. I just discovered all these Nats' blogs. They are awesome. Keep up the good work.

    Werent the Nats offering Odalis 3/18 before he went back to the Dodgers? If so, that means they could add at least another $6M in payroll for 05 [aka Cameron's salary next year]. In 06, Cameron's salary jumps all the way to $8M, but the Mets can send $2-3 million to help out the Nats. So okay, here's my latest trade proposal, tell me what you think: Cameron, Seo, and cash for Sledge.

    By Blogger OFF, at 1/12/2005 4:48 PM  

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