Come To Think Of It: Cubs To Sign Mike Cameron As Soon As Bradley Deal Is Done

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IDecember 6, 2009

According to Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus, the Cubs will sign free agent Mike Cameron to play center field as soon as Milton Bradley is moved. Carroll tweets that the Bradley deal has been "imminent for 72 hours."

Cameron will turn 37 in January but is still an above average defender, at least according to a UZR/150 of 10.3, despite a weak arm. He should be a huge improvement over Kosuke Fukudome, who can move back to right field.

Offensively, he has power but has a mediocre career .250/.340/.448 slash line. He hit 24 home runs in 2009. Bill James predicts a .237/.328/.428 slash for Cameron in 2010.

The Brewers didn't offer Cameron arbitration, so the Cubs will not lose a draft pick for signing the veteran. But since he made $10 million in 2009, it will likely take at least that much per season to sign him.

The deal hinges on the trade of Bradley for two reasons. One, they need to free up salary, though they will likely need to either pay some of his salary or accept a contract like Pat Burrell in return, which they would need to flip to another team.

Second, they need to free up right field for Fukudome.

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All in all, while this will improve their outfield defense, I do not expect it to be an upgrade offensively because I expect a comeback from Bradley next season if he is healthy.

Instead, this represents a move that Jim Hendry and the Cubs feel is necessary because of fan sentiment, which is largely in favor of moving Bradley at almost any cost.

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