The Milwaukee Brewers finally signed their outfielder. But it's going to cause a little more disruption than expected.
Milwaukee tentatively agreed to a one-year contract with center fielder Mike Cameron, most recently of the San Diego Padres, pending a physical early next week. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting the deal to be worth $5 million with a $10 million club option for 2009. Cameron will also receive a $1.25 million signing bonus.
The deal will make Cameron the starting center fielder, and reports have already stated that the Brewers are in discussions with current center fielder Bill Hall about a move to third base, thus making NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun the everyday left fielder.
"We've talked to both of them and both are fine with it, and they recognize Mike is the type of player who can make us better," GM Doug Melvin said of Hall and Braun on the Brewers' website.
Cameron, who just turned 35 on Jan. 8, batted .242 last season with 21 home runs and 78 runs batted in. He will be forced to miss the first 25 games of the 2008 season as he serves a suspension after testing positive for a banned substance.
Cameron doesn't exactly fit the mold of what the Brewers had been looking for. Melvin had stated he was searching for a left-handed on-base guy with a low strikeout rate. However, Cameron is a righty with a career on-base percentage of .341 and a career average of .251. He also struck out 160 times last season.
With Cameron in the lineup, however, the Brewers will likely continue to lead the league in home runs, while also being close to the league lead in strikeouts. Rob Deer would certainly be proud.