Monday, December 7, 2009

Death, taxes, and the Jim Hendry trying to sign a free agent outfielder

This year, it appears to be Mike Cameron who has found his way to Hendry's wish list. This according to Gordon Wittenmyer, who also states the obvious--that trading Bradley and clearing up some payroll would be a prerequisite to such an acquisition.

Cameron will be 37 next month, and he played under Piniella when he was with Seattle early this decade. He is strong defensively, having won three Gold Gloves (most recently in 2006), and his presence would enable the Cubs to put Fukudome back in right field. While he put up 24 HR and 70 RBI last season and has hit over 20 HR eight times in his career, his age concerns me as does the fact that he has driven in 100 runs just once (2001). His career average is .250, and if his $10 million salary from last year is any indication, he will be vastly overpaid as a free agent.

Perhaps the two biggest positives are Cameron's consistency--the last four years he has hit 24, 25, 21 and 22 home runs, respectively, and driven in 75, 54, 67 and 71 runs, respectively--and his leadership. Cameron was lauded as a clubhouse leader in Milwaukee, and every Cubs fan knows that the team has lacked a leader over the last few years. Cameron has also played at least 140 games in 12 of the last 14 years, though just three of the last five years.

It'd be nice if Hendry could get him for one year at a reasonable price as opposed to a multi-year deal and big time bucks.

You may also recall that Cameron was suspended for the first 25 games of the 2008 season after a second positive test for a banned stimulant.

The need for speed

With Brett Favre behind the wheel of the Vikings offense, Minnesota has rarely been in danger of losing this season. But their players are putting plenty of lives in danger when they get behind the wheel of a car.

Twice in three days, Vikings players were ticketed for going over 100 mph--Adrian Peterson was going 109 in a 55 and Bernard Berrian was going 104 in a 60. Obviously people speed all the time, and I'm certainly not innocent in that arena. But topping the century mark is truly dangerous. And while Tiger Woods will be put through the ringer for his marital infidelities, the stories about Peterson and Berrian's penchant for speeding will surely speed by without much fanfare.

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