Tag Archives: Mike Cameron

Season Preview: AL East


With Spring Training well under way and the first games starting very soon, I figured it was a good time to take a look at my own predictions for the league, and the changes the respective teams have made.

Last Year’s Records
Tampa Bay – 96-66
New York – 95-67
Boston – 89-73
Toronto – 85-77
Baltimore – 66-96

Notable Additions

Baltimore – Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, J.J. Hardy, Justin Duchscherer

Boston – Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler

New York – Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez

Tampa Bay – Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Felipe Lopez, Sam Fuld, Chris Archer

Toronto – Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Juan Rivera, Scott Podsednik, Brett Lawrie, Rajai Davis

Notable Losses

Baltimore – Kevin Millwood, Julio Lugo, Ty Wigginton, David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio

Boston – Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez, Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, Bill Hall

New York – Javier Vazquez, Andy Pettitte, Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood

Tampa Bay – Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Rafael Soriano, Carlos Pena, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit

Toronto – Vernon Wells, Shaun Marcum, John Buck, Miguel Olivo, Scott Downs

Continue reading

Original Draft Series: Team #29 – Chicago White Sox


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #29: Chicago White Sox

General Managers(since 1994)

Ron Schueler (1994-2000): 550-515
Ken Williams (2001-current): 762-697

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1 1 4 4 7 4 1 0

The performance over the past 15+ seasons points to two things: The AL Central has been a fairly weak division overall, as the White Sox ended up with 2nd place finishes 3 years in a row with sub-.500 records. Also, that while the organization has not always been excellent at developing their own Major Leaguers, they have done well to acquire players via free agency and trades.  All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Humberto Quintero Int’l FA – 1997 5 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to SD – 7/12/02
1B Dayan Viciedo Int’l FA – 2008 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Currently with Org.
2B Gordon Beckham 2008 – 1st Rd (8) 2 159 gm, .247/.326/.389, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 11 SB, 81 R Currently with Org.
3B Josh Fields 2004 – 1st Rd (18) 5 204 gm, .229/.302/.416, 31 HR, 101 RBI, 3 SB, 90 R Traded to KC – 11/6/09
SS Alexei Ramirez Int’l FA – 2008 2 344 gm, .278/.320/.423, 42 HR, 169 RBI, 29 SB, 160 R Currently with Org.
LF Carlos Lee Int’l FA – 1994 10 880 gm, .288/.340/.488, 152 HR, 552 RBI, 64 SB, 533 R Traded to MIL – 12/13/04
CF Aaron Rowand 1998 – 1st Rd (35) 7 579 gm, .283/.337/.451, 54 HR, 211 RBI, 38 SB, 255 R Traded to PHI – 11/25/05
RF Mike Cameron 1991 – 18th Rd 7 296 gm, .229/.315/.376, 23 HR, 100 RBI, 50 SB, 121 R Traded to CIN – 11/11/98
DH Magglio Ordonez Int’l FA – 1991 13 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Slugger,
1001 gm, .307/.364/.525, 187 HR, 703 RBI, 82 SB, 624 R
Free Agency – 10/28/04
SP Mark Buehrle 1998 – 38th Rd 12 4 All Star Appearances, 1 Gold Glove
139-103, 3.84 ERA, 1225 K, 489 BB, 2137.2 IP, 1.275 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Gio Gonzalez 2004 – 1st Rd (38) 1 + 1 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to OAK – 1/3/08
SP John Ely 2007 – 3rd Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to LAD – 12/18/09
SP Clayton Richard 2005 – 8th Rd 4 6-8, 5.14 ERA, 95 K, 50 BB, 136.2 IP, 1.500 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09
SP Charlie Haeger 2001 – 25th Rd 7 1-2, 4.85 ERA, 20 K, 21 BB, 29.2 IP, 1.685 WHIP Selected by SD – 9/10/08
RP Kanekoa Texeira 2006 – 22nd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to NYY – 11/13/08
RP Dan Hudson 2008 – 5th Rd 2 1-1, 3.38 ERA, 14 K, 9 BB, 18.2 IP, 1.339 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Matt Guerrier 1999 – 10th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to PIT – 3/27/02
RP Boone Logan 2002 – 20th Rd 6 4-4, 5.87 ERA, 92 K, 49 BB, 110.1 IP, 1.686 WHIP Traded to ATL – 12/4/08
RP Carlos Torres 2004 – 15th Rd 6 1-2 6.04 ERA, 22 K, 17 BB, 28.1 IP, 1.659 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Jon Rauch 1999 – 3rd Rd 5 3-2, 6.51 ERA, 23 K, 18 BB, 37.1 IP, 1.661 WHIP Traded to MON – 7/18/04
BN Ryan Sweeney (OF) 2003 – 2nd Rd 4 33 gm, .213/.250/.288, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 6 R Traded to OAK – 1/3/08
BN Chris B. Young (OF) 2001 – 16th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances for Organization Traded to CHW – 12/20/05
BN Chris Getz (IF) 2005 – 4th Rd 5 117 gm, .262/.323/.346, 2 HR, 32 RBI, 26 SB, 51 R Traded to KC – 11/6/09
BN Aaron Poreda (P) 2007 – 1st Rd (25) 2 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 12 K, 8 BB, 11 IP, 1.545 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09
BN Adam Russell (P) 2004 – 6th Rd 5 4-0, 5.19 ERA, 22 K, 10 BB, 26 IP, 1.538 WHIP Traded to SD – 7/31/09

The White Sox have done a reasonably good job of drafting players over the past 15 years, and I think at least a part of that is a result of the stability at the top of the organization, specifically only having 2 general managers over that time period. The White Sox have done a very good job of acquiring top flight players via trade for some of the players listed above, including Jake Peavy, Juan Pierre, and even Paul Konerko. I think that this, coupled with some solid free agent signings, have helped to keep the Sox competitive.

June Amateur Draft

Looking at their drafting results, they have had 30 first round picks in the last 15 drafts (not including 2010). Ignoring the 2009 draftees, they have had 19 of these picks play at least a single game in the Major Leagues. 3 players who were first round picks have not made it to the Majors yet but are still with the organization, including both 2009 top picks Jared Mitchell and Josh Phegley. They have gotten quite a bit of solid players out of the first round, but the best performance out of any of them for the White Sox was from CF Aaron Rowand. There are still quite a few players who were drafted in the first round who could potentially be solid Major Leaguers, but are still too raw or young. They have also received some late round values, especially 38th round pick Mark Buehrle.

International Free Agency

The White Sox don’t appear to have had a lot of luck in finding or developing many international free agents, with Alexei Ramirez being the most recent to make it to the Majors, and only Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez the others who are still active. Over time, I imagine that this is going to improve, as they have shown a willingness to spend on players (Ramirez and 1B Dayan Viciedo being prime examples) from Cuba and other Latin American nations.

Overall Grade

I think I have to give them a D. The goal of this project was to see what players were available based on who they originally signed with, and to me there’s still a lot to be desired out of the players listed above. The pitching staff has potential, but is still extremely raw. There’s a lot of excellent outfielders, but all of the infield positions are manned by either barely established players, or in the case of Viciedo, one who hasn’t yet played in the Majors. Overall, you have a group of players that still have a lot of potential to be good, but as of right now, have not had a lot of success and overall I think would have a hard time competing in the Majors.

Week in Review – May 24th to May 30th


If the Playoffs Started Today

New York (30-20) vs. Minnesota (30-20)
Oakland (27-24) vs. Tampa Bay (34-17)

St. Louis (29-22) vs. San Diego (29-20)
Philadelphia (28-21) vs. Cincinnati (30-21)

League Leaders

Average: Justin Morneau (MIN) – .368
Home Runs: Jose Bautista (TOR) – 16
Runs Batted In: Miguel Cabrera (DET) – 48
Runs: Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 45
Stolen Bases: Rajai Davis (OAK) – 20

Wins: Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 9
ERA: Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) – 0.88
Saves: Matt Capps (WAS) – 17
Strikeouts: Tim Lincecum (SF) – 80

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Koji Uehara, Alfredo Simon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Everth Cabrera, Kendry Morales, George Sherrill, Coco Crisp

Returning from the Disabled List: Mike Cameron, Rafael Furcal, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, Brett Anderson

Called up from the Minors: Chris Iannetta, Buster Posey, Chris Tillman, Max Scherzer

Removed from the Majors: Dontrelle Willis,

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • MLB.com has been going back over previous years amateur drafts as a run up to this year’s draft next week. This week they went over the 2005 draft, and was an interesting read.
  • The first set of All-Star voting was announced this week, and you can read what my take on the topic was here.
  • Stephen Strasburg allowed his first run at AAA this week, and it sounds like he’s going to be up in the Majors by the 10th or 11th of June at the latest. After seeing some of the footage of him pitching, it seems like he’s pretty likely to be a solid if not dominant starter once he gets to the Majors.
  • The headline said the most: Ray on Ray crime as infielder Sean Rodriguez was stung by a sting ray while at the beach last week. He’s fine, and back in the lineup already, but I still thought it was pretty funny.
  • Joe West and the Chicago White Sox were both at the center of a bit of controversy earlier this week, as West ejected both P Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen for arguing after West called a pair of balks on the pitcher in the 3rd inning of Thursday’s game. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a really good writeup of the history of West and his desire to be in the spotlight. I am inclined to agree that umpires fit in that old adage about children that they be seen and not heard. Clearly, the fact that an umpire was the biggest story in a baseball game is a problem. Sounds like all 3 of them were fined for their actions that day.
  • Bill Dwyre of the LA Times has a good writeup which explains how options work for players.
  • For the second time in less than a month, a perfect game was thrown in the Majors. The 20th in the history of baseball, and the first time it has happened twice in a season since 1880 was twirled by Roy Halladay. Congrats to him, and he has to be one of the best pitchers I can remember actually throwing one.
  • I would assume that a lot of teams are going to start looking at walk-off celebrations after Kendry Morales broke his leg on Saturday during theirs. The Angels are likely to be without Morales anywhere up to 3 months it appears. It appears that it was a bit of a fluky injury, but the Angels are still going to be without one of their best hitters for a majority of the remainder of the season.
  • The Giants finally gave into the demands of the fans, and called up top prospect Buster Posey. He responded by going 3-4 with 3 RBI in his first game on Saturday, while playing 1B. Buster Olney wrote up in his blog (subscription required) that the Giants don’t really appear to be making decisions in a thought out process with regard to Posey. I’m inclined to agree, as they sent him down specifically to improve his catching.
  • Scary moment for the Indians’ David Huff, as he took a line drive off his forehead off the bat of Alex Rodriguez. It sounds like he’s doing alright, but the fact that the ball bounced off his head and ended up about 40-50 feet into right field is extremely scary.
  • To make room for Sunday’s starting pitcher Max Scherzer, the Tigers designated for assignment P Dontrelle Willis. Essentially a roster move to get him off the 40 man roster, if no one claims him and his $12 million dollar salary (which seems likely), they could potentially send him to the minors or give him his release. I think I’m with the majority here in wondering what happened to him, and hope he can figure it out.
  • Clearly, Max Scherzer must have figured something out at AAA, as he shut down the A’s and struck out 14 of them in only 5 2/3 innings Sunday in the victory. A bit disconcerting to have done so with 113 pitches, but between 4 walks and the 14 strikeouts, clearly there were going to be a lot of pitches thrown.

The Posts Planned for the Rest of this Week:
Tuesday: Month in Review: May
Wednesday: The 2010 Rookie Class
Thursday: Draft Preview Links
Friday: Trade Retro: Jermaine Dye to the Athletics (2001)

Trade Retrospective: Ken Griffey Jr


I always find it extremely interesting to see how trades worked out for the teams involved, and what effects the trade had on both teams’ fortunes. I’ll be doing one of these each week, as there have been so many blockbuster trades that happened in recent years.

One of the first blockbuster trades of the 2000s was the requested, and achieved trade of Ken Griffey Jr to the Reds for OF Mike Cameron, SP Brett Tomko, IF Antonio Perez, and P Jake Meyer.

The Background

Griffey requested a trade to Cincinnati so that he could be closer to his home and his family. Griffey had posted 3 consecutive seasons of 45+ home runs and 134+ RBI, and was going to be 30 years old in 2000. Griffey was going to be a free agent after the 2000 season, and the Mariners must have known that they were unlikely to keep Griffey.

The Mariners were coming off of a 79-83 season where they finished in 3rd place, and also knew that young SS Alex Rodriguez would also be a free agent after the 2000 season. The team would most likely have to begin a rebuilding effort based on the rest of the competition in the division, and moving Griffey would help to move that forward.

The Reds had finished 1999 with a 96-67 record, losing a play-in game against the Mets for the Wild Card playoff spot. I imagine that they had to feel that bringing the elite Ken Griffey Jr in would be enough to help put them over the top in their division.

The Moving Pieces

Griffey went to Cincinnati, and almost immediately signed a 9 year, $112.5 million contract extension. The Reds slotted him in to play CF, and were hopeful that he would help to bring them closer to a championship. With 398 career homeruns, it was widely expected that he would be able to compete for the all-time home run record in Cincinnati, and reach that number before the end of the contract.

Mike Cameron was slotted in by the Mariners to replace Griffey in center field. Cameron had been the starting center fielder in Cincinnati, and posted a .256 batting average with 21 HR, 66 RBI and 38 SB. While he wasn’t going to be Griffey in the outfield, he still had the potential to be a very solid center fielder and was also under team control for 4 more seasons.

Brett Tomko was 26 and coming off of a 5-7 season record with 132 strikeouts in 172 innings (33 appearances).

Jake Meyer was a 24 year old minor leaguer who had finished the season with the Reds’ AA team. He had posted a 3.57 ERA with 16 saves between A and AA.

Antonio Perez had been an international signing by the Reds, and was a 19 year old shortstop who had dominated the Midwest League with a .288 batting average, 7 home runs, and 35 stolen bases.

What Happened Next

Ken Griffey had another excellent season, although slightly below his previous levels. He hit .271/.387/.556 with 40 HR, 118 RBI, and 100 runs scored. Unfortunately, this didn’t lead to the improvement that they had hoped, and the Reds finished 85-77, 10 games back in the division and out of the playoffs.

The Mariners, almost surprisingly, went in the opposite direction, finishing 91-71 and winning the AL Wild Card. Mike Cameron hit 19 HR and stole 24 bases while playing a solid center field.

The Net Moves

Cincinnati – First Level

  • Cincinnati had Griffey for the 9 seasons of the contract, but it didn’t quite play out the way they had hoped. Griffey spent large portions of the 2001-2007 seasons on the disabled list, and the contract hamstrung the team. The performance surrounding Griffey was poor also, as they never won more than 80 games while Griffey was with the team.
  • At the end of his stint with the Reds, Griffey had hit 210 home runs, but had only averaged 105 games per season there.
  • In 2008, he was traded to the White Sox in the hope that he could compete for a championship. The Reds acquired P Nick Masset and IF Danny Richar for him.

Cincinnati – Second Level

  • Richar spent the remainder of the 2008 and 2009 seasons with the Reds, appearing in only 23 games total. He was not brought back for 2010.
  • Masset has spent both the remainder of 2008 and all of 2009 with the Reds. He has posted a 6-1 record with a 2.74 ERA in 95 innings over the two seasons, and remains in the bullpen for the Reds in 2010.

Seattle – First Level

  • Mike Cameron spent the 2000-2003 seasons with the Mariners, averaging 152 games a season, hitting 87 home runs, stealing 106 bases, and posting a .256 batting average. He left via free agency, and no compensation was received.
  • Brett Tomko spent the 2000 and 2001 seasons with the Mariners, posting a 10-6 record overall in 43 appearances (12 starts) and a 4.82 ERA. He was traded in the 2001 offseason, along with C Tom Lampkin and IF Ramon Vazquez to the Padres for C Ben Davis, IF Alex Arias, and P Wascar Serrano.
  • Antonio Perez never played in the Majors for the Mariners, and was traded to the Devil Rays in part of the compensation that the  Mariners received for signing manager Lou Piniella. The Mariners received OF Randy Winn as well.
  • Jake Meyer never made it to the Majors, not with the Mariners or with anyone else. He was traded to the White Sox in 2002 as a part of a trade involving another minor leaguer.

Seattle – Second Level

  • C Ben Davis was included in the trade of SP Freddy Garcia to the White Sox. This trade netted the Mariners C Miguel Olivo, IF Mike Morse, and OF Jeremy Reed. Reed, it was thought, would be able to play CF for the Mariners and help to bring some offense to the lineup as well.
  • P Wascar Serrano and IF Alex Arias had essentially no impact on the Mariners, as neither played in a game for the team. Arias was released, and Serrano did not pitch.
  • OF Randy Winn played for the Mariners for the 2003-2005 seasons, being traded to the Giants at the trading deadline for P Jesse Foppert and C Yorvit Torrealba. Foppert played in AAA for the Mariners, never pitching in the Majors before being released. Torrealba spent the remainder of the 2005 season with the Mariners before being traded to the Rockies for a minor leaguer.

Seattle – Third Level

  • Miguel Olivo was traded to San Diego for a pair of minor leaguers (Nathaniel Mateo and Miguel Ojeda), neither of whom pitched in the Majors.
  • Mike Morse was traded in 2009 to Washington for OF Ryan Langerhans, who played in 38 games for the Mariners, and is currently on the Major League roster.
  • Jeremy Reed never really fulfilled the potential he was thought to possess, playing sporadically from 2004-2008 and posting a .255 batting average with 11 HR and 19 SB over the 4 seasons. He was traded after the 2008 season as a part of the 3 team trade with the Mets and the Indians. The Mariners sent RP J.J. Putz and Sean Green to the Mets, and IF Luis Valbuena to the Indians, and received back from Cleveland OF Franklin Gutierrez, and from New York received IF Mike Carp, OF Endy Chavez, RP Aaron Heilman and Jason Vargas, and prospects Maikel Cleto and Ezequiel Carrera.
  • Gutierrez is a fixture in the Mariners outfield, and widely considered to be the top defensive center fielder in all of baseball right now.
  • P Aaron Heilman was traded to the Chicago Cubs for SS Ronny Cedeno and P Garrett Olson without throwing a pitch for the team.
  • During midseason 2009, the Mariners moved SS Ronny Cedeno as a part of the trade that brought SS Jack Wilson and SP Ian Snell to Seattle.

Overall Reactions

This is a trade that overall, I thought would be really good for the Reds at the time. Griffey had shown himself to be an elite outfielder, and well on his way to being the greatest player of all time. Injuries derailed that thought, and the Reds spent a lot of money and unfortunately did not get nearly the production and wins that they had hoped for.

For the Mariners, this trade has eventually worked itself out to some extent. Frankin Gutierrez, Ian Snell, and Jack Wilson are all major players on the current Mariners roster, and the team was able to make the playoffs in 2000 and 2001 with the contributions of the players acquired.

I think that overall, this is one of those trades that had the potential to be really a good one for both teams, and in the end they both got lackluster results overall.

Free Agency Review – OF/DH


Continuing on with my review of the 2010 free agent class, today’s positions are the outfielders and designated hitters.

All salary data from ESPN.com’s Free Agent Tracker
All 2011 free agent information from MLB Trade Rumors’ 2011 Free Agent List

Corner Outfielders
Name Old New Years Total $
Jason Bay BOS NYM 4 $66 M
Matt Holliday STL STL 7 $120 M
Xavier Nady NYY CHC 1 $3.3 M
Randy Winn SF NYY 1 $1.1 M
Marlon Byrd TEX CHC 3 $15 M
Bobby Abreu LAA LAA 2 $19 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: Johnny Damon (NYY), Jermaine Dye (CHW)

What an unusual offseason. Holliday gets $120 M from the Cardinals, despite appearing to have no other offers even remotely as large or as long. Bay takes about $6 M more than the Red Sox offered, and goes to a park which I have to imagine is not going to be as good for him as a hitter as Fenway was. And then there is the case of Johnny Damon. As of this writing, Damon is STILL unsigned. He was looking for a very large contract, with 3-4 years in length and a large quantity of money. After the season he had last year, he appears to have been well within his rights to ask for it, too. Unfortunately, no one’s willing to pay it. Which makes the contract that Bobby Abreu signed with the Angels look that much better.

Center Fielders
Name Old New Years Total $
Rick Ankiel STL KC 1 $3.25 M
Scott Podsednik CHW KCR 1 $1.75 M
Coco Crisp KCR OAK 1 $5.25 M
Mike Cameron MIL BOS 2 $15.5 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: None

Center fielders did alright this offseason, with Mike Cameron receiving the best contract overall. He’s going to be playing LF for the Red Sox most likely, although they’d probably be better served moving Jacoby Ellsbury instead. Crisp was added to the A’s outfield in spite of the logjam that was there when the offseason started, and the move makes a lot more sense now that they were able to move a couple of their excess outfielders. Both Podsednik and Ankiel aren’t going to play CF for the Royals, but I could see them splitting their time out there, and potentially in RF in place of Jose Guillen as well.

Designated Hitters
Name Old New Years Total $
Jim Thome LAD MIN 1 $1.5 M
Vladimir Guerrero LAA TEX 1 $5 M
Hideki Matsui NYY LAA 1 $6.5 M

Notable Remaining Free Agents: None

Not surprisingly, there were not a lot of designated hitters available, and jobs for them either. Matsui did well to take Guerrero’s old job, and get a nice salary for 2010. I really like the signing for the Angels, as Matsui is the definition of a professional hitter. Should fit in well with the rest of the lineup and the roster. Guerrero could very well have an excellent season in Texas, although I think Texas probably would have been better served using that money for other spots on the roster besides a player who cannot play the field any longer. Thome’s signing was under the radar, and also fits really well with his new team. He brings a professionalism and veteran leadership to the Twins that they don’t have a lot of at the moment.

Tomorrow’s free agency review: Starting Pitchers

Trade Review – MIL/MIN


Milwaukee trades J.J. Hardy to Minnesota for Carlos Gomez
Source: ESPN.com

When I first heard this trade, I really liked it for both teams. Hardy fills an immediate need for the Twins at SS, and only takes away from a position of strength. For the Twins, they are able to shift Denard Span permanently to CF, and have either Michael Cuddyer or Jason Kubel go to RF. For the Brewers, this allows them to let Mike Cameron leave via free-agency, and take that savings to help improve the team in other areas. This definitely signals the start of the Alcides Escobar era in Milwaukee, as he will likely be handed the starting SS job.

Overall, I like this trade a lot. One of those trades that makes too much sense.

Some other opinions and information:

Beyond the Box Score takes a look at the impact of this trade on the defense of the Twins next season.
They also take a look at the value provided to each team by each player.