September 30, 2014

Nationals sign Mike Cameron to minor league contract

According to multiple reports, the Washington Nationals signed 17-year veteran outfielder Mike Cameron to a minor league contract Monday.  Cameron, 39 on Jan. 8, hit .230/.285/.359 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs last season in 269 plate appearances between Boston and Florida.  For his career, Cameron has hit .249/.338/.444 with 23 home runs per 162 games played.

Cameron was once a prolific base-stealer as well, with a career-high 38 in 1999, but does not run much at all anymore, as his one successful attempt last season will attest.  He is a terrific defender, having won three Gold Gloves throughout the course of his underappreciated career.

Cameron spend the second half of last season with Florida, where he hit .238/.331/.420 with six homers in 164 plate appearances before being released after an altercation with a flight attendant on a team charter.  Cameron also served a 25-game MLB suspension in 2007 for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

It’s no secret the Nats have been in the market for a center fielder this winter, especially one that could hit lead-off, but they have been unable to crack that market as of yet.  Cameron gives them a decent fall-back option to platoon with Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel should they not be able to upgrade at starter over the off-season. 

Alternatively, if the team feels Bryce Harper is ready to make the team out of spring training — presumably in right field, with Jayson Werth sliding over to center field — the Ankiel-Cameron outfield bench would give the Nats plenty of late-inning options, both offensively and defensively.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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