By Jason Wojciechowski on November 18, 2005 at 4:26 PM
The Cubs are terrible. They're going to pay Scott Eyre $11 million over three years to ... do what exactly? Throw 60 innings of mediocre baseball? Eyre's not a bad guy to have around, but he's the definition of fungible reliever. He's got a 4.52 career ERA, a K:BB ratio of 1.5, a K/9 ratio a little below seven, and a career OBP allowed of .350. For that, you pay almost $4M per year? I feel bad for Mark Prior.
The Padres, though, made themselves a nice little deal for Mike Cameron. Their outfield in Petco is huge, so they want a good, fast center fielder to run around out there, and Cameron certain provides more pop than Dave Roberts did. He's got a .340 career OBP and a .442 career SLG despite playing in some ugly parks for hitters: Safeco and Shea (and Petco ain't gonna help matters).
And all they had to give up was Xavier Nady? I've got a soft spot for Nady, because he's a local (California, that is) boy and I remember the newspapers at home being really excited when he was drafted years ago. That said, his line last year was .261/.321/.439, and I don't think his defense is all that highly regarded. Yes, he's significantly cheaper than Cameron, but if you're the Mets, isn't a $7M extra center fielder a luxury you can afford?
I guess there's also the fact that Nady is in the midst of his prime seasons (he's 27) while Cameron is heading toward the downward slope (he's 32), which is not an unimportant fact. Omar Minaya might have followed the old "trade him a year too early" rule here.
In the abstract, trading Cameron is not so terrible, but I think you have to get something better than a random fourth outfielder in return, even if it means defraying Cameron's salary with his new team a little bit. Again, if you're in New York, are salary dumps really all that necessary?