Mike Cameron Rumors
This morning we learned that Mike Cameron has decided to retire after 17 seasons in the majors. The 39-year-old played for eight different teams during his career and won three Gold Gloves. Here's more on the Nats and other notes from around the National League East..
- Last week, the three-way trade the Phillies were looking to send Joe Blanton to the Angels for Bobby Abreu, then flip Abreu to the Yankees for A.J. Burnett, sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Phillies' thinking was that two years of Burnett would have provided at least a bit of a safety net if they lost Cole Hamels to free agency, Olney tweets.
- Cameron's retirement will force the Nationals to get creative in center field and possibly look for another right-handed hitter at the position, writes Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. Alternatively, Washington could let either Rick Ankiel or Roger Bernadina take the job outright or move Jayson Werth to center field and put Bryce Harper in right.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com (via Twitter) spoke with Cameron who said Nationals GM Mike Rizzo tried to talk the veteran out of retiring. The center fielder said that he made up his mind last Wednesday.
- Third baseman David Wright's future with the Mets is likely independent of the club's performance, writes Dan Martin of the New York Post. The Mets hold a $16MM team option on the 29-year-old for next season, but Wright can void that option if he is traded.
- Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton isn't worried about hearing his name in trade rumors, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phillies have reportedly shopped Blanton in order to create payroll flexibility and explored a three-way trade to land A.J. Burnett before he was traded to the Pirates.
Outfielder Mike Cameron has notified the Nationals that he will retire, according to the team's official Twitter account. Cameron also drew interest from the Indians this winter before signing a minor league deal with Washington in December.
The 39-year-old was designated for assignment by the Red Sox in June before being dealt to the Marlins. In total, Cameron hit just .203/.285/.359 in 269 combined plate appearances and saw his season come to an end when he was released by the Marlins for conduct detrimental to the team.
In 17 big league seasons, Cameron hit .249/.338/.444 with 278 home runs for eight different clubs. According to Baseball Reference, the centerfielder earned more than $76MM over the course of his career.
Cameron, 39 in January, also drew interest from the Indians recently. His production took a big dip in 2011, when he hit just .203/.285/.359 in 269 overall plate appearances with the Red Sox and Marlins. The advanced metrics continue to rate his outfield defense very well, however. Washington figures to keep looking for a long-term solution in center field, but Cameron represents a solid stopgap player or bench piece.
The Indians have had "serious talks" with Mike Cameron and have also talked to Andy LaRoche, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian confirms (via Twitter) that the Tribe have had discussions with both players and could sign them to minor league contracts.
Cameron, 38, saw a dip in production in 2011 with the Red Sox and Marlins, hitting .203/.285/.359 in 269 overall plate appearances. However, the Indians view him as an insurance policy for center field if Grady Sizemore continues to be plagued by health problems, according to Pluto.
The 28-year-old LaRoche, meanwhile, would likely just provide the organization depth at the Triple-A level. The former top prospect spent the past season with the Athletics, splitting time between the big league club and Triple-A Sacramento.
- “We think he’s going to be ready, but he might not be," said Mets GM Sandy Alderson to Dan Martin of The New York Post when asked about the status of Johan Santana. "That’s where the [pitching] depth becomes important.”
- We can add Mike Cameron to the list of Nationals' bench targets according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Yesterday we heard they have interest in Greg Dobbs.
- By non-tendering Brooks Conrad rather than outright releasing him, the Braves will not have to wait until mid-May to re-sign the utility player according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
TUESDAY: The Indians are looking at right-handed hitters such as Derrek Lee, Andruw Jones, and Mike Cameron, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Yesterday we heard the Indians have mild interest in Josh Willingham, and on Friday they were linked to Mark DeRosa.
Also, Morosi says the Indians are willing to trade from their bullpen depth to acquire the right bat.
The Giants need to bolster their offense, so Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests trading Tim Lincecum for multiple players is a viable option. Trading the two-time Cy Young Award winner might allow San Francisco to free up the payroll required to pursue a top free agent position player such as Prince Fielder or Jose Reyes. Here are some more notes from Morosi...
- Mike Cameron, Tim Wakefield, Edgar Renteria and Craig Counsell intend to play in 2012.
- Jon Garland might throw for teams this offseason if there’s demand, according to Morosi. The right-hander missed most of the season recovering from shoulder surgery and the Dodgers declined their 2012 option on the 32-year-old. Garland intends to continue as a starter.
- Some teams view Jamey Carroll as an everyday second baseman. I’m not surprised to hear that since Carroll has repeatedly proven his ability to get on base and many teams will be in the market for second basemen.
- Former Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera is pitching in the Dominican Winter League after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Agent Mike Powers told Morosi that Cabrera intends to return to MLB as a starter. The 6'7" right-hander hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2009.
- For more thoughts on Lincecum and the Giants, check out the piece Dave Cameron wrote yesterday at FanGraphs.
The Tigers extended their winning streak to 12 games with a comeback victory against the White Sox today. Here are this evening's links...
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that scouting director Tim Wilken is scheduled to meet with Cubs ownership about an extension similar to the four-year deal farm director Oneri Fleita recently signed. Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry recently met with commissioner Bud Selig and could resurface in a high-profile job before long, according to Wittenmyer.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes provided the latest Cubs updates this morning and we heard later in the day that the Reds intend to keep Walt Jocketty in Cincinnati.
- Kevin Millwood told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he hopes to pitch in the Major Leagues again next year. Rockies manager Jim Tracy says he can imagine Millwood returning to the organization in 2012.
- Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears that the Marlins released Mike Cameron after he got into a "verbal altercation" with a flight attendant that prompted the charter company to complain.
Congratulations to Tim Wakefield, who won his 200th career game tonight. Here are this evening's links, starting with updates on two players who were traded for one another 13 years ago...
- White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he might retire after 2013, when his current contract expires. The 35-year-old has a terrific .308/.395/.528 line with 29 homers in the first season of the three-year, $37.5MM deal he signed last offseason.
- The Marlins released Mike Cameron because of conduct detrimental to the team, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.
- The Braves have increased the responsibilities of three front office members following the departure of director of player personnel Kurt Kemp, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Assistant GM Bruce Manno will oversee player development, Ronnie Richardson was promoted to director of minor league operations and John Coppolella was promoted to director of professional scouting.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post can see the Rockies pursuing Michael Cuddyer and Josh Willingham this offseason (Twitter links).
- Renck also suggests Jason Hammel is available. Hammel's strikeout rate (5.0 K/9) and ground ball rate (43.5%) dropped this season, while his ERA (4.91) and walk rate (3.7 BB/9) rose, so his trade value is considerably lower than it would have been last winter. The 29-year-old is under contract for $4.75MM in 2012.
- Fernando Rodney told Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he would have liked more chances to close with the Angels this year. The right-hander will look to sign with a team that can provide him with more regular work when his two-year contract expires after the season.
The Marlins released center fielder Mike Cameron after last night's win in Atlanta, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The move drops the team's 40-man roster to 39, though it'd fill back up if Scott Cousins is activated from the 60-day DL.
Cameron, 38, hit .239/.333/.423 in 163 plate appearances after being acquired from the Red Sox on July 5th. The Red Sox paid the majority of Cameron's salary, having designated him for assignment a week prior.
Talking to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post this month, Cameron hinted at retirement, saying, "I may be too young to quit, but my body’s telling me different. My body’s 45." Perhaps he'll change his mind once his body heals up, but if Cameron does call it quits he'll finish with a .249/.338/.444 batting line, 278 home runs, and over 15,000 innings of strong center field defense for the White Sox, Reds, Mariners, Mets, Padres, Brewers, Red Sox, and Marlins.