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Mike Cameron chooses Nationals over Indians

Dec 19, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

Mike Cameron Getty Images

Washington and Cleveland were reportedly fighting over Mike Cameron.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as winning or losing the fight, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the 38-year-old outfielder has decided to sign with the Nationals.

Cameron defied father time for years, remaining very productive offensively and excellent defensively into his mid-30s, but he was injured for most of 2010 and hit just .203 with nine homers and a .643 OPS in 78 games for the Red Sox and Marlins this past season.

With that said, there are worse options to fill a bench role as a backup outfielder who can still probably be reasonably productive versus left-handed pitching, and the Nationals have made it clear all offseason that they want some veterans on the bench. And the Indians may have bowed out after acquiring Aaron Cunningham to fill a similar role.

UPDATE: Cameron got a minor-league deal, so he’ll have to compete for a job during spring training.

  1. spudchukar - Dec 19, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    This speaks fairly loudly to the Nationals’ inability to secure a CF answer for 2012. With Ankiel (who is still a free agent) and Bernadina both lefties the Cameron acquisition suggests that the Nats are choosing to go with what they have in CF.

    • Old Gator - Dec 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      Yes, but the Gnats are also getting a veteran presence. You can’t have your young ballplayers getting into pissing matches with flight attendants without a father figure to oversee their shenanigans, can you?

      • Cris E - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        People make fun of the whole veteran presence gambit, but I think it really makes some sense when a club is moving a lot of young guys up at once and wants them to come into a strong clubhouse where it’ll be harder to establish bad habits right away. They are putting down a ton of coin on some young kids and they’d be wise to do everything in their power to protect the investments.

        Which is why it’s sort of weird to see the selection of Cameron for this role. He hasn’t made a career of serial idiocy like Milton Bradley, but when the flight attendant jokes immediately sprang up everyone recognized them. There are lots of geezer citizen outfielders sitting around willing to take money to pinch hit, whisper in the ear of bonus babies and not appear on Deadspin.com.

    • natstowngreg - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      The off-season isn’t over. The Nats will have other possibilities. If those don’t work out, Jayson Werth can play CF.

      Signing Cameron to be a platoon CF? No. IF he makes the team, he only gets significant AB if someone is injured.

      As for veteran presence, the Nats already have that.

  2. mojosmagic - Dec 19, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Good day for the Indians as the Nats win the booby prize.

  3. bigtrav425 - Dec 19, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    thankkkkkkkkkkkk god!! i woulda been pissed if we would of signed him

  4. paulsdamnblog - Dec 19, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Looks like the Tribe dodged a bullet there.

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