From Ken Rosenthal (FOX Sports):
The Yankees talked with the Brewers about trading for center fielder Mike Cameron before the Aug. 31 deadline for setting postseason rosters, but the teams did not get close to a deal, major-league sources say.
Cameron has long been a Yankees’ favorite, but the club did not want to take on the rest of his $10 million salary, which would have amounted to more than $1.5 million.
The Yankees also did not view Cameron, a right-handed hitter, as a dramatic upgrade over Melky Cabrera, a switch-hitter who has shown significant improvement against left-handed pitching this season.
Cameron, 36, has an .814 on-base plus slugging percentage overall, an .871 OPS against left-handers. Cabrera, 25, has a .755 mark overall and a .795 mark against lefties. The Yankees were reluctant to reduce his playing time.
The other day I wrote about what could have been if the Yankees had traded for Cameron over the winter. He’s a distinct upgrade over Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner (and a combination of the two) and would have been a nice addition. For that reason, Rosenthal’s report is rather perplexing.
I can understand not trading for Mike Cameron if the Brewers’ asking price, prospect-wise, is too high. Why pay such a premium if you only get the player for a month or so. However, if the main issue was $1.5 million, then that’s a definite head scratcher. It looks like Hal Steinbrenner is really running the show, financially.
I also wonder about the team’s willingness to stick with Melky Cabrera when Cameron is an offensive and defensive upgrade in center (although Melky has come on lately, offensively). Maybe they were worried about the move to the AL or maybe they were worried about disrupting the team’s chemistry. Or, perhaps they were worried about making room for Cameron on the roster. I’m hoping these were the real reasons as to why they didn’t pursue Cameron—not the $1.5 million or so that he has left on his contract.
Brian Cashman and co. have been smart this season in terms of non-moves (e.g., Washburn, Halladay). While I would have liked for them to add Cameron—he’s a good player—with Brett Gardner on the mend and Melky hitting well, this could end up being another one that works out for the club.
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