Feinsand: Melky Traded for Cameron

The Daily News Mark Feinsand reports:

The Yankees have found their center fielder for 2009, as they are set to send Melky Cabrera to Milwaukee for veteran outfielder Mike Cameron on Thursday, according to two major league sources…

Many believed Cabrera would be the center fielder of the future
entering the 2008 campaign, but a disappointing season, in which he hit
.249 with eight homeruns and 37 RBIs in 129 games, led many to believe
he was destined for a future as a utility outfielder. Yankees blue-chip
prospect Austin Jackson is not expected to be ready for big league action until at least 2010,
making Cameron the ideal one-year stopgap in center field.

I'd be surprised if Melky is the only player on the move from the Yankees in this deal. If it's only Melky, then this is nice deal for the Bombers.

Then again, who knows if this deal is really happening. Feinsand is the only one reporting it right now.

39 comments… add one

  • Wow. That’s a big move. Cameron brings good defense (though he isn’t what he was) and power. The low OBP is a big concern, especially if his power is sapped by the big YS right field. I presume this was more a financial move than anything for the Brewers, so no other players might be involved. Implications for the Yanks are big. Damon becomes the left fielder. Matsui the DH. Swisher 1b. Nady RF. The Brett Gardner experiment is over. He’s now Homer Bush. The dream of Mark Teixeira should now be officially done.

    Mark Lamster December 11, 2008, 8:49 am
  • I am little disappointed that they did not give Gardner a shot. The bad news for BG is if he isn’t getting one in 2009, he isn’t getting one ever (unless someone goes down with an injury of course).
    The good news is Melky is gone, not a fan and the bench is starting to fall into shape. BG now becomes our 5th OF’r, with Matsui the 4th according to Girardi. He (BG) also becomes the late inning defensive replacement for Damon or Nady.
    I am interested to see what else, if anything the Yanks send to the Brewers.
    Looks like Cameron is only signed through 2009. 2009 was a club option for $10. So yet another savings for the club that just spent $161 mill on CC. Abreu was $16 Mill, he basically replaces him in the OF and they save $6 mill. Add that to the money we save on Swisher Vs. Giambi and this team is down right thrifty! LOL.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 8:50 am
  • Bubba Crosby part two. :)
    This is a good move for the Yankees. Cameron hits for decent power, which will add power to an already potent lineup.
    Next up – AJ Burnett, and a seriously good team.

    Brad December 11, 2008, 8:59 am
  • I don’t understand what’s going on with the Brewers. It seems like they thought enough of the 2008 team to make the trade for CC and send their best prospect to the Indians. Then they offer arb to Sheets, but not Sabathia. They picked up the club option on Cameron, then trade him. Not to mention that they also are saddled with that awful Gagne contract and their “closer” just retired. MLB trade rumors has them fielding offers on Bill Hall as well. The last time a team has gone from good to awful this fast was the Marlins (twice!)

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 9:26 am
  • The Yankee outfield is still barely average offensively. Damon – Cameron – Nady is not the OF of a championship team. Damon is likely to regress. Cameron is average and his OBP is woeful. And Nady is also average. Even Matsui is likely ti be an average DH.
    Looking across the rest of the team, that leaves maybe three or four above average bats (A-Rod, Jeter, Jorge, and Cano). And three of those have big question marks about where they’re headed coming off last year. Combine that with a well-below average defensive SS…
    They need another big bat. Calling Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 9:27 am
  • The Metros are having a decent couple of days, I see.

    Brad December 11, 2008, 9:27 am
  • I like Jeremy Reed, he’s a better hitter than Endy and he’s pretty solid defensively. Putz to K-Rod has the potential to be very good provided they stay healthy. They still have BIG holes in their rotation and bottom half of the pen. Sean Green is nothing special. But are they better today then they were a week ago, hell yes.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 9:31 am
  • yeah, Putz to KRod could be gross, especially in the NL, where both of them should absolutely dominate.

    Brad December 11, 2008, 9:35 am
  • Ya, my dynasty with Putz league is not happy with the trade, but for the Mets, if nothing else, sends a message to fans that at least they’re trying to bridge that gap..

    Lar December 11, 2008, 9:50 am
  • If Putz gets healthy, are there any concerns with the fact that the 8th inning pitcher will have better stuff, more strikeouts, and fewer walks than the well-paid 9th inning pitcher? (Or is this, like the 2005 Detroit Tigers Zumaya-Jones thing, just one of those functional bullpens I don’t quite understand?) Either way, I can’t figure this one out yet, although it’s amazing how much Jeremy Reed’s value fell (the Red Sox wanted him as their centerfielder back in 2006 and settled for Coco because the Mariners were asking too much) and it seems like the Mets didn’t much believe in what they gave away. The only obvious winner is Cleveland, but maybe I’m more of a Joe Smith fan than most.
    Speaking of things I don’t know enough about, there’s the Melky-Cameron deal. I don’t believe it until I see a prospect thrown in. As is, I like it as an objective viewer because Cameron fills in nicely long enough for Austin Jackson to develop (and Melky just doesn’t have much upside), and as a Sox fan because it takes a dangerous competitor out of the Texiera raffle.

    Hit Dog December 11, 2008, 9:55 am
  • Great move by the Yanks. It’s not the huge signings that make a difference for a team, but these smaller ones to round out weaknesses that can make the big difference in a season.

    Atheose December 11, 2008, 9:57 am
  • What this trade does tell you is that the Yankees will not make anymore offensive moves UNLESS Nady or Matsui get traded. Girardi is a big fan of Nady, he thinks he can do just fine in a full time role, so he’s not going to platoon or be a bench player. So while I would love to have Dunn, there’s simply no place for him to play with the team as is.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 10:01 am
  • Dunn is a monster, but I think he’s going to be surprised by how little interest there is for him from the larger market teams.

    Brad December 11, 2008, 10:14 am
  • He would be a great fit for the Yankees and he should come fairly reasonably. Problem is Cash has to convince another team (Hello SF! that Matsui is the Matsui of old.) Dunn is younger, cheaper, more power and (gulp) more athletic at this point. Time will tell what Cash can do, if anything.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 10:19 am
  • I don’t know much about Cameron guys…help a brother out? He’s older right? I know he WAS a Gold Glove outfielder at some point, right?
    My wife is in shambles…she loved Melky. I feel bad for her but she is psyched about C.C. so she’ll live!!! :)

    krueg December 11, 2008, 10:21 am
  • @ John
    If they don’t make any more offense moves, it’s a big mistake. Right now too many things have to break right for them to approach 800 runs. And even though they’re freed of Matsui and and Damon next year, this year has the better free agent crop between Manny, Dunn, and even Bradley. Holliday still has to prove he’s at that level and he’ll cost a good bit more.
    Heyman says the Yanks are still in on Teixeira. Hopefully it’s only to help drive up the price north of 200 million.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 10:24 am
  • John – they offered arbitration to Sabathia. They’re getting the Yankees’ first round pick at number 26.

    AndrewYF December 11, 2008, 10:25 am
  • Thanks Andrew, my mistake.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 10:32 am
  • They had 789 runs last season and that’s with all of the injuries.
    I agree that Dunn would be a major addition, but they need to make a move for that to happen.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 10:47 am
  • I agree that Dunn would be a major addition, but they need to make a move for that to happen.
    Not really. Dunn could be the 1B. And Nady/Swisher could platoon (which is a better use of both of them).
    The problem is you can’t assume there won’t be injuries this year. All the major players are still on the wrong side of 30 except Cano. And both Giambi and Abreu had very productive years (as the team’s second and third best hitters). Damon too.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 10:58 am
  • Girardi is high on Nady, I don’t see him endorsing a platoon in RF. I also think Swisher can bounce back. I have no data to support that, just my personal feelings. I don’t disagree re: Dunn joining the team, I just don’t see it happening with the team as is.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 11:06 am
  • @ John
    Nady and Swisher are no reason not to upgrade. They’re average hitters and nothing more. If it doesn’t happen, they could easily miss the playoffs with a 90-93 win team.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 11:13 am
  • > they could easily miss the playoffs with a 90-93 win team
    And could easily miss.

    attackgerbil December 11, 2008, 11:19 am
  • I understand what you are saying, I truly get it. What I am saying is unless they make another move you aren’t going to see Dunn added to this team. You might be right, there might not be enough offense to win, but I don’t think the Yankees feel that way. If they wanted Dunn to play 1B they would have approached him prior to trading for Swisher it would seem. Girardi is on record as saying he thinks Nady is an everyday player and can be productive.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 11:20 am
  • > I don’t know much about Cameron guys…help a brother out? He’s older right?
    Yes. He still has good power, speed (which once was phenomenal), base-running intelligence, and he is durable.
    Minuses: Strikes out a lot. Got suspended for testing positive for a banned stimulant. Yanks will be his seventh team.
    > I know he WAS a Gold Glove outfielder at some point, right?
    Watching the early 2000s Mariners with Cameron in CF and Ichiro in RF (and whomever they stuck in left… Winn.. McLemore.. etal) was truly a pleasure. They were outstanding, astounding. Seriously: BRILLIANT. But yes, he is older now. Cameron was a huge fan favorite, for whatever that is worth.
    > My wife is in shambles…she loved Melky.
    I wonder if they put a grief counselor on call for Robi? As if he needs a reason to be more detached. Okay, sorry, that’s off-sides.
    It’s difficult to not see this as an upgrade offensively. And Cameron has been great against LHP the last couple seasons. In the field, its probably a push, maybe a very slight downgrade. Melky has a better arm. Cameron is more savvy and will make more difficult plays look routine. He’s a truly graceful fielder.
    I think its a good move for one season (as Gardner matures?), entirely because Melky showed little reason to be optimistic that he’s going to be significantly better this year with a bat.

    attackgerbil December 11, 2008, 11:30 am
  • @ John
    Nah, Swisher was a hedge, like Nady, against having to do something in case the market went crazy. They gave up almost nothing for both.
    There are too many good hitters available at decent prices (Dunn, Bradley, Burrell even Giambi and Abreu). I don’t see how the Yanks don’t get in on that. At least, I hope they do. Even better if they do it before Teixeira signs his overly bloated contract. After wards the teams that don’t pony up the $200 million are going to be scrambling.
    Heck, even the Sox should be looking at Dunn. For the cost, he’s fine insurance on Lowell and Ortiz and a much better value than Teixeira on a much shorter contract.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 11:32 am
  • >> they could easily miss the playoffs with a 90-93 win team
    > And could easily miss.
    Ooops.. sorry Rob.. yes I agree. Don’t know what I was reading.

    attackgerbil December 11, 2008, 11:37 am
  • @ attackgerbil
    You realize that Melky never spent a full season at AAA, right? The Yanks rushed him. Imagine if they promoted Jackson in June, after a few hot months, then he struggled for two years. And he’s a year older than when Melky debuted.
    The question is whether Melky learns to hit for power. He’s got the build. I know I wouldn’t be surprised to see him develop in the NL AAA.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 11:38 am
  • > The question is whether Melky learns to hit for power.
    Don’t get me wrong, Rob. I was hugely happy when Melky caught a break to come up with the Yanks, because I think he’s one of the most likable players the Yankees have brought along the last few years. I adore the thought of Melky finding success in the bigs, and I’m sorry it won’t be with the Yankees.. I would be thrilled for him to learn how to hit for power.
    Or average.

    attackgerbil December 11, 2008, 11:45 am
  • @ attackgerbil
    Funny. Yeah, I was reacting to the general trend in the Bronx of embracing a prospect then quickly tossing them aside when things don’t go smoothly at first. I just think most folks don’t know how little time Melky spent in the minors. And if they had signed Beltran he might not have been up until last year.
    Hopefully Melky makes a career of it.

    Rob December 11, 2008, 11:58 am
  • You could end up being correct Rob, but my opinion (and I think that’s the opinion of the Yankees) is that Swisher and Nady can be considered everyday players until proven otherwise. Time will tell.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 12:36 pm
  • Pete Abe is reporting that the Brewers were trying to get Bill Hall into the trade but the Yankees wanted the Brewers to eat some of Halls contract OR take bad a bad contract like Igawa to even it out. Hall’s contract is ridiculous, but he would be a handy bench player. Just not at that price!

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 12:44 pm
  • Thanks AG…you are the man!

    krueg December 11, 2008, 12:47 pm
  • Yeah, all of this is looking waaaay premature…thanks again for the competent and patient reporting there, Daily News. By asking the Brewers to eat some salary, the Yankees really crossed the line, having just added $20 mil onto the Sabathia deal to ensure he wouldn’t take an enhanced Milwaukee deal. If I was Milwaukee, this is where I retract my deal and dump three full cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon on Cashman’s head.

    Hit Dog December 11, 2008, 1:37 pm
  • > really crossed the line
    What line?
    > dump three full cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon on Cashman’s head
    As if that costs any money, which they don’t have to spend now anyway.

    attackgerbil December 11, 2008, 1:52 pm
  • The Brewers are/were trying to pass of Hall as well, so it’s not like this is all on Cashman. This deal isn’t dead, the Brewers aren’t going to pay him $10 Mill for this upcoming season knowing they have zero chance to contend with no closer and 2/5′s of their rotation gone.

    John - YF December 11, 2008, 1:55 pm
  • Well, with CC making so many three day starts last year, wouldn’t you almost consider that 3/5 of the BrewCrew’s rotation is now gone, John..?
    :)

    Brad December 11, 2008, 2:58 pm
  • Pete Abe says the Cameron deal is back on and it could done as soon as tomorrow. So who knows, but I’m guessing that they will, in fact, get Cameron.
    I like it. He’s not the ideal choice obviously and there’s a chance that his age catches up to him, but if he plays on the level of last season he’s an offensive upgrade in center, which might make up for the offensive downgrade from Abreu’s full-season of offense in right to Nady’s.
    Melky showed flashes but he didn’t develop, instead stepping back each year. I hope he breaks through somewhere though.

    Nick-YF December 11, 2008, 6:47 pm
  • Crazy that the Yanks will get Cameron for only Cabrera. The Sox could have used Crisp for this purpose instead of a middle reliever (since plenty of those are available for cash). Cameron absolutely destroys lefthanded pitching and we already know the Yanks will have one if not two of those. Rays too with Price in the rotation. And he’s a fantastic glove.
    I sure hope Ells starts quickly cause Byrnes’ act is going to get old fast. And with Lugo likely gone too, Theo is really letting it ride on the kids. Dont get me wrong – he’s earned that trust after Youk, Papelbon, Lester, and Laser Show. But if Lowrie, Ells, and Cash/Kottoras struggle it’s going to be a long season.

    Dave SF December 12, 2008, 6:41 am

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