The Milwaukee Brewers have picked up center fielder Mike Cameron's club option for next year, set at $10 million.
This $10 million will not be a mistake, like Eric Gagne's was in 2008. You know exactly what you are getting with Cameron.
Last year, Cameron hit .243, with 25 HR and 70 RBI, while stealing 17 bases. He did strike out a team-high 142 times, but he also drew 54 walks and had a .331 OBP. And he did all that while missing the first month of the season due to suspension.
This year, Cameron will have a full six months to prove himself once again. He will enter the season being 36 years old, showing no signs of slowing, and he is the best option that the Brewers will have.
Owner Mark Attanasio will have his hands full trying to sign numerous free agents in the offseason to fill some holes on the team. So it makes perfect sense to pick up Cam's option and have one less position to worry about.
One aspect of Cameron's game you definitely don't have to worry about is his defense. There is a reason that he his a three-time Gold Glove winner.
In his shortened season last year, Cameron had 293 put outs, with three assists and only one error.
Another reason why the Brewers bring him back is because the team is not quite sold on Tony Gwynn Jr. yet. In all his years in the Brewers' organization, Gwynn has yet to prove that he is capable of playing center field everyday at the major-league level.
Will the Brewers also rid themselves of Rickie Weeks this offseason and make Cameron their everyday leadoff man? Or will they move him behind Prince in the order?
Only Ken Macha, newly acquired manager, will know the final answer, and it won't be until late March that Macha himself knows for sure.
Another thing that's for sure about Cameron is that where ever he bats in the Brewers' lineup, he will do his job and will never complain.
I predict that Cameron will once again hit .250 and have 25-30 HR, with around 80 RBI and steal 20+ bases.
He will also continue the tradition of the Brewers untucking their jerseys after the game's final out. A tribute to his father in a way, showing that the day's work is done and it's time to relax before it all starts all over again tomorrow.
(I have written an article that explains it in more detail: "All in a Day's Work for the Milwaukee Brewers", if your interested).
Cameron's leadership may be of the quiet variety, but the youngsters on the team know that he has been there and done that before, and will continue follow his lead. Hopefully, it can result in Milwaukee making back-to-back playoff appearances.