Mike Cameron and the Red Sox reached a tentative agreement on a two-year deal, per the Associated Press. Cameron manned center field in Milwaukee the past two seasons, but he earned $10 million in 2009 and the Brewers went younger, cheaper and perhaps a half-step better defensively when they traded for Carlos Gomez earlier this winter.
Gomez won’t provide Cameron’s pop. Yes, Cameron has struck out at least 130 times in all but one season since 1999, but he’s also topped 20 home runs eight times, including in each of the past four seasons. He’s the only center fielder in baseball with 25 or more doubles and 20-plus homers in each of the past four years.
Cameron is the third Brewers free agent to sign elsewhere in the past week. The Royals inked Jason Kendall
to a two-year, $6 million contract on Friday, one week after the Brewers signed fellow veteran catcher Gregg Zaun
. The Kendall deal came two days after the Mariners inked outfielder Corey Patterson
, a September bust for the Brewers, to a Minor League contract.
Milwaukee’s free agents are quickly exiting the market. The Brewers finalized their contract with Craig Counsell on Monday and Claudio Vargas’ deal is done pending a physical, leaving only outfielder Frank Catalanotto, starter Braden Looper, infielder Felipe Lopez and reliever David Weathers on the open market.