Melky for Mikey

The Daily News has the Yankees trading Melky Cabrera to Milwaukee for Mike Cameron:

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.

Cameron, a former Met, hit .243 with 25 HRs and 70 RBIs in 120 games last season. He will earn $10 million in 2009.

If those are all of the players involved, it’s a pretty good deal for the Yankees. Maybe he’ll prove us wrong, but Melky doesn’t look like anyone’s solution in centerfield, let alone New York’s. At the same time, Milwaukee could stand to get out of paying a 36 year-old $10MM. And hey, maybe Melky will take to the NL better.

I’ll leave the hardcore analysis of this deal to others, but for now I’ll offer a cosmic observation: it doesn’t seem all that long ago that Mike Cameron was traded for a guy who, at the time anyway, was considered one of the best baseball players in baseball history. Now he’s worth Melky Cabrera, and I don’t think that the guy who was once one of the best baseball players in baseball history could say the same thing. Time marches on.

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Comments

  1. MooseinOhio said...

    Doesn’t really appear to be an upgrade for either team but the Brewers get to save money and the Yankees may get a slight improvement defensively.  Assuming Cameron has CF, does that move Damon to RF and leave Matsui in LF? 

    Looking like the Yankees will be fielding a rather old team next year as Cano is the only under 30 starter with only first base left to fill.

  2. Grant said...

    Salary dump and upside play for the Brewers, I guess.

    I kinda like Law’s idea to move Weeks to center and see if that helps him with his hitting, but I guess the Brewers don’t agree. Oh well.

  3. Alex K said...

    Damon’s arm in right would be a joke, that’s like giving people the extra base.  I bet it looks something like Damon in left, Cameron in center, and Nady in right, Matsui DH, and Swisher at first.  Swisher has also played all three outfield spots.

  4. lar said...

    I love the “deep thoughts”, Craig… it’s a good observation.

    I don’t know what to think about this Cameron deal, though. I don’t mind trading away Cameron in itself – he’s a valuable player, sure, but he’s not essential. But it seems like there should be something better out there than Melky Cabrera. I mean, their batting averages are pretty identical, but Cameron gets on base more, despite his strikeouts, and hits for much more power (Melky’s SLG is something like .346… his slugging!). I understand the “change of scenery” argument and the “he’s 24” argument, but neither are very compelling.

    To me, it feels like one of those trades/signings from the Brewers in the mid-90s where it sounded good on paper, but really didn’t mean anything… You know, the ones where you’d say at the start of the season “Oh, look, the Brewers got Marquis Grissom… good for them” and then you’d realize that having Marquis Grissom doesn’t really mean much. And at least those trades/signings had people like Marquis Grissom involved… Melky Cabrera wishes he were up to Grissom’s level right now…

    Still, if the Cameron trade (which the local curmudgeon/beat-writer says could also involve Bill Hall) can give us some spending room to help get some quality starting pitching, then I wouldn’t mind so much.

    It’s important to remember two other things, too: 1) Doug Melvin is a good GM, and has made many more “good” moves than “bad” moves over the years, and, 2) Mark Attanasio spent a lot of money last year to move the Brewers forward and to get people excited about the team again. I think he’s too smart and invested in this team to start making dumb roster decisions to save a few million bucks.

    —lar
    http://wezen-ball.blogspot.com

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