I was perusing the SI.com archives from Jon Heyman (aka The Boras Propaganda Machine) and found myself re-reading his nominations for the top 20 MLB free agents going into 2010. The names you'd expect were all featured about where they should have been, but one name struck me as conspicuously absent: Mike Cameron. I whined about Cameron not getting a meaningless Gold Glove in the comments a few nights back, but I really am surprised the guy isn't getting more love as a short-term, cost-effective free agent option because that's exactly what he is.
Yes, Mike Cameron will be 37 years old in the 2010 season, but what he did as a 36 year old in 2009 cannot be understated: 24 HR, .346 wOBA, 111 OPS+, .202 ISO, and he played a stellar defense (to the tune of a 10.3 UZR/150) despite being "aged" by most modern baseball standards. What's not to like about that? Sure, he's no Franklin Gutierrez, but then again, few people are. And remember, before there was Franklin Gutierrez becoming the veritable death of any flying object, there was Mike Cameron doing the exact same thing.
I think part of the reason why I'm so perturbed by Heyman's lack of candor for Mike Cameron stems from the fact that he does give Rick Ankiel an "honorable mention" after his list. Really? He of the .288 wOBA? Not to mention his defensive abilities are nowhere near Cameron's. Saying that Ankiel has "fall down range" might be a bit generous. In other words, Rick Ankiel wishes he was Mike Cameron.
The rumors have it that Cameron is seeking a one year deal for about $7-8 million. Considering he was a 4.0+ WAR player and "worth" over $18 million in production for the Brewers each of these past two seasons, there would hopefully be many a smart GM leaping at the chance to add this man to his team. Let's see if the fella starts getting some love.