Brewers pick up Mike Cameron's option
I, for one, would have been shocked had we not done so, but the longer it went on, the more everyone began to question whether we would.
It's now official.
Tom H has a bunch of quotes from Melvin and Cameron, so I'm giving you the whole thing:
Brewers exercise Cameron's option
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Nov. 3, 2008 8:53 a.m. | Mike Cameron will be the Brewers' centerfielder once again in 2009.
The Brewers have decided to exercise the $10 million option in Cameron's contract for next season. Today was the deadline for exercising the option or paying a $750,000 buyout.
Cameron, who will be 36 in January, signed as a free agent last winter, for a bonus of $1.25 million and a $5 million salary in '08, plus the option for '09. His salary was prorated last season because he sat out the first 25 days while on suspension for using a banned stimulant the previous season.
Cameron played in 120 games for the Brewers last season, batting .243 with 25 home runs and 70 RBI. He struck out a team-high 142 times in 444 at-bats, with a .331 on-base percentage and .477 slugging percentage.
Cameron lived up to his Gold Glove reputation in center, committing just one error. He also swiped 17 bases in 22 attempts.
I'll talk with GM Doug Melvin later today, to get his reasoning for sticking with Cameron as his centerfielder. I hope to speak to Cameron as well.
Some might think that by paying Cameron $10 million it doesn't give the Brewers the money necessary to re-sign CC Sabathia. Well, they've already offered Sabathia $100 million, an extraordinary offer considering the club's revenues. And Cameron and Sabathia became very good friends, so this might actually help the Brewers in their quest to keep the big lefty.
ADD TO ORIGINAL POST:
I just spoke with Doug Melvin from California, where he is attending the GM meetings. This is what he had to say about exercising the option on Cameron's contract:
"In a statistical analysis, he ranked as the sixth-best centerfielder in the major leagues. And he improved our pitching by playing centerfield the way he did.
"The only difficult thing is that we're so right-handed (throughout the lineup). But we felt he has value. When you look at his contract, we paid him $7.5 million average for two years. That's the way we viewed it.
"He has great make-up and gives us good chemistry in the clubhouse. There's a value to that as well."
I just spoke with Cameron's agent, Mike Nicotera, who told me Cameron is "very excited" to be coming back to the Brewers. I hope to speak to Cameron before the day is over.
I just spoke on the phone with Cameron and he is pumped about coming back to Milwaukee. And he said he honestly was surprised that the option got picked up because he wondered if the Brewers would have to divert the money elsewhere.
"I know we've got so many young players about to get pay raises," he said. "I didn't think my option would get picked up. This was a surprise, to be honest with you.
"I'm very excited to be coming back to Milwaukee. I'm just thankful to get another opportunity to be inolved with a team that's one the verge of knocking some doors down on a yearly basis."