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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Red Sox - Signed Cameron

Boston Red Sox - Signed CF Mike Cameron to a 2-year, $15.5 million contract.

This gives the Red Sox one of the best defensive outfields around.  Ellsbury should be a dynamite leftfielder defensively instead of a so-so centerfielder.  I’d still be open to a trade if a team wants to pay for Ellsbury as if he’s a star centerfielder, but he’s not going to hurt the team badly in left.

Cameron’s been a ridiculously consistent player for the last decade, never having a poor year, but also never having a real ridiculous superstar season, and while it might be tempting to call this a no-risk signing based on that, Cameron does turn 37 in a month and consistency isn’t terribly predictive.  The resources devote to Cameron aren’t extreme and if the signing doesn’t work out, the Red Sox still have the money to bring in a leftfielder next offseason and move Ellsbury back to center.

ZiPS Projection - Mike Cameron (CF)
————————————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA OBP SLG OPS+  DEF
————————————————————————————————————————-
2010       432 71 109 28   3 16   64 54 128 10 .252 .339 .442   99   VG
2011       395 62 97 24   2 14   55 48 119   8 .246 .331 .423   92   AV
————————————————————————————————————————-
Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Reggie Jackson, Willie Mays, Brady Anderson

ODDIBE

Offense
Top Quintile   17%
2nd Quintile   17%
Mid Quintile   28%
4th Quintile   24%
Low Quintile   14%

OPS+              OBP           3B         Hits
160+        1%    .400+    3%    10+    1%    200+  0%
140+        4%    .375+    11%    5+    19%    150+  0%
130+        7%    .350+    34%
120+        13%  .325+    69%    2B
110+        25%  .300+    91%    45+    2%
100+        46%                30+    39%
90+          71%
80+          88%
60+          96%

BA               SLG           HR         SB
.350+        0%    .550+    5%    50+    0%    70+    0%
.325+        1%    .500+    13%    40+    0%    50+    0%
.300+        6%    .450+    43%    30+    4%    30+    0%
.275+        23%  .400+    84%    20+    28%    10+    50%
.250+        56%  .350+    97%    10+    93%

(Based on Projected PA)

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2009 at 04:16 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 15, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3413375)
Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Reggie Jackson, Willie Mays, Brady Anderson

Mantle, DiMaggio, Costanza
   2. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3413461)
Isn't part of the luxury of Fenway Park that you can stick a crappy LF out there and just let him rake? Why would you sign an elite defender to play in a teensy LF in Fenway?
   3. karlmagnus Posted: December 15, 2009 at 05:35 PM (#3413499)
Silly question DL. Because that's what the PREVIOUS management did, with Manny Ramirez. This lot have a horrible not-invented-here syndrome, among their other failings. No amount of somersaults in Fenway's LF can turn a 99 OPS+ into Bay's 130, let alone Manny's 155.
   4. aleskel Posted: December 15, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3413509)
Isn't part of the luxury of Fenway Park that you can stick a crappy LF out there and just let him rake?

I don't think the Monster gives you license to use a totally crappy LFer - you can use someone with not-great range, but you still benefit from someone who gets good jumps and plays the ball off the wall well
   5. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 15, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3413519)
you can use someone with not-great range, but you still benefit from someone who gets good jumps and plays the ball off the wall well

And you've just described precisely the opposite of Ellsbury.
   6. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 15, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3413525)
I seriously hope karlmagnus never changes.
   7. RJ in TO Posted: December 15, 2009 at 05:54 PM (#3413553)
I always picture karlmagnus furiously typing away on his computer with the Dan Duquette background, under his Dan Duquette poster, wearing his Dan Duquette jersey, and dreaming of the day that Dan Duquette will come to take him away.

Unfortunately, in this case, I sort of agree with him. Given the size of the Fenway LF, I don't see the advantage of punting offense for defense there. I know a run is a run (more or less), but I don't see how Cameron or Ellbury in LF will put together enough defense to balance out their relative lack of offense.
   8. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 15, 2009 at 06:03 PM (#3413563)
Karlmagnus: the lovechild of CHB and Jurassic Carl. I've never seen a fan so unrepentingly negative and so obviously in denial about the failings of the past.
   9. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 15, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3413567)
Wasn't Mike Greenwell actually a pretty decent defensive LF for the Red Sox? Or am I just making that up?
   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3413571)
This should be a good test of what impact the Green Monster has on our fancy defensive stats though. When Ellsbury/Cameron (whichever plays left) show up as -32 runs, I'll insist on a formal apology to Manny.

As to the topic, those OPS+ projections are kinda disappointing -- accurate I assume but not gonna make anybody jump for joy. I'm a little surprised this was a 2-year deal but I suppose he was going to get one somewhere. And, of course, if he doesn't do well, he'll still make a fine 4th OF.

Question is what does this do with Hermida. He seems out of place now. If he was an RHB, it would be easy to see how he gets PAs (Ellsbury, Drew, Ortiz) but, as it is, the only guy he can steal PAs from is Cameron. Maybe this is a prelude to an Ellsbury trade or maybe the Sox will just move Hermida on somewhere. But Reed Johnson still seems like a good guy for the Sox to sign.
   11. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 15, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3413578)
I like the two-year commitment on this signing, too - as discussed in the post, the cost and risk is low enough that if he bombs, you still have a player who can be a defensive replacement at all three positions, a good pinch-runner, a potential HR bat off the bench, and by all accounts, is a strong clubhouse guy. And that's if things don't work out.

As things come into tighter focus, the Red Sox budget priorities also become clearer:

2009 Catchers: Varitek ($5m) and Kottaras (.4m): TOTAL: $5.4m
2010 Catchers: Martinez ($7.1m), Varitek ($3m): TOTAL: $10.1m

2009 IF: Youkilis ($6m), Pedroia ($1.5m), Lowell ($12.5m), Lugo ($9m): TOTAL: $29m
2010 IF: Youk ($9m), Pedroia ($3.5m), Beltre (just playing, here...$12m), Scutaro ($5m): $29.5m

2009 OF: Bay ($7.8m), Ellsbury ($.45m), Drew ($14m): $22.5m
2010 OF: Ellsbury ($.5m), Cameron ($7.75m), Drew ($14m): $22.75m

2009 SP: Beckett ($10.5m), Lester ($1m), Matsuzaka ($8m), Wakefield ($4m), Penny ($5m), Smoltz ($5.5m): TOTAL: $34M
2010 SP: Beckett ($12m), Lester ($3.75m), Matsuzaka ($8m), Lackey ($16m), Wakefield ($3.5),Buchholz (.45m) TOTAL: $43.75m

In terms of the relief pitchers, Ramirez, Bard and Delcarmen don't make any money. Okajima made $1.5 in '09, will make a little more in '10. Papelbon made $6.75 in '09, will probably add a few million to that figure this off-season. Saito made a surprising amount of money for a guy who was often the 6th or 7th option out of the bullpen (he was pretty good, but at the back of the list). His base was low, but he got a lot of money for finishing games, and ended up making $6m.

The bench, with Lowrie, Hermida (replacing Baldelli), and another corner guy, will likely be with a few million of the 2009 figure. Ortiz is making the same money in 2010 as he made in 2009.

So what's the salary difference, at the monet, between 2009 and 2010?
The catchers make about $4.7m more in 2010.
The IF and OF starters will be very similar, as will the DH.
The bullpen, thanks to Saito's departure, will like be a little under 2009 (perhaps $4m less).
The rotation will likely be about $9m-$10m more
NET: 2010 payroll will be about $10m higher...not counting the money they'll throw around to get rid of Lowell, Lugo's 2010 money was eaten, Matsuzaka's signing fee, if amortized over six years, etc.
   12. tfbg9 Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3413804)
9-You're making that up. He was horrible.
   13. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3413810)
Maybe this is a prelude to an Ellsbury trade


Given that Ellsbury has been rumored for months as one of the potential centerpieces of a trade for Adrian Gonzalez, Cameron's signing is almost certainly exactly that.

-- MWE
   14. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3413833)
9-You're making that up. He was horrible.

Ok, I believe that. I was a terrible judge of defense as a kid. I thought Jim Rice looked pretty good out there.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3413840)
Wasn't Mike Greenwell actually a pretty decent defensive LF for the Red Sox? Or am I just making that up?


9-You're making that up. He was horrible.

Is it O'Leary you're thinking of? I thought his defensive numbers as a Sox leftfielder were pretty decent.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3413847)
This seems an interesting instance of projection system divergence.

ZiPS: 252/339/442
CHONE: 234/314/401

That's a big gap.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:31 PM (#3413849)
Is the CHONE projection for Fenway? That would change things.
   18. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3413856)
it is
   19. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3413879)
Is it O'Leary you're thinking of? I thought his defensive numbers as a Sox leftfielder were pretty decent.

Must be, although I have O'Leary stuck in my head as RF. I'm just not sure crappy defense was a LF requirement for Duquette any more than it was for any other team. I don't think Manny was always terrible in the field, he just became that way over time.
   20. Ron Johnson Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3413880)
#12 For the years we have DA (early PBP metric 88-95) Greenwell gave up 109 hits more than average (worst. 5 more than George Bell and Kal Daniels combined and they were 3rd and 4th. Vince Coleman finished second)

He was also second worst (behind Coleman) in extra bases given up. No surprise there, a play not made in Fenway is fairly likely to be a double.

As Dale Stephenson wrote when posting this: "Mike Greenwell -- innocent victim of the wall, or the world's worst left fielder?" (Or what happens when a poor fielder plays left for the Red Sox)

Dale had Greenwell 122 runs below average (including the unpublished 1996. -19 there) and has Greenwell's 1995 as the worst by any LF in the limited run of DA (-29 runs)
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:47 PM (#3413891)
"If he was an RHB, it would be easy to see how he gets PAs (Ellsbury, Drew, Ortiz)"

I fail to see how Cameron's right-handedness keeps him from getting PT in the wake of the inevitable Drew/Ortiz injuries.
   22. AROM Posted: December 15, 2009 at 08:52 PM (#3413914)
That's a big gap.


Not as big as the gap on Scutaro. I'll have to double check the park factor used, but the big reasons for a drop in BA despite going into a good hitter's park is the age, strikeouts, and tougher league.
   23. Digit Posted: December 15, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3413951)
I fail to see how Cameron's right-handedness keeps him from getting PT in the wake of the inevitable Drew/Ortiz injuries.


He was referring to Jeremy Hermedia, who's a LHB. Cameron's signing would seem to make Hermedia a 4th OFer, but that's not so easy to platoon.

The answer on what to do with Hermedia by the way, would be to move Cameron to RF, play Hermedia in LF, and play Ellsbury in CF. Or DH Hermedia when Ortiz is out. Having two CFers helps in that you can move Ellsbury back to LF, or CF, and play Cameron in LF/CF/RF. Basically, Hermedia would DH or play LF, when one of Ellsbury/Cameron/Drew needs rest (If Drew needs rest, Cameron in RF, Ellsbury in CF, if Cameron needs rest, Ellsbury in CF, and if Ells needs rest, Cameron in CF.) I think that's how it'd break down. Nothing says here that these guys -must- play the same position all year.
   24. Frisco Cali Posted: December 15, 2009 at 11:38 PM (#3414119)
He was referring to Jeremy Hermedia, who's a LHB

I had Hermedia once. Doctor gave me some drugs and all is better now.
   25. John DiFool2 Posted: December 16, 2009 at 12:38 AM (#3414176)
The Sox obviously were troubled by their relatively poor road performance, esp. defensively, but I'm not sure Cameron is the answer to that need. I almost wish they do get Adrian; 1 star can easily surpass the output of 5 fringe major-leaguers.
   26. Darren Posted: December 16, 2009 at 12:44 AM (#3414186)
I'm always shocked by how high Philly says the payroll is. At the end of the year, it always seems to come out lower than he thinks. If the Red Sox want to cut a bit, they could find a home for Hermida and Kotchman but still take on Beltre.
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2009 at 12:53 AM (#3414194)
When Ellsbury/Cameron (whichever plays left) show up as -32 runs, I'll insist on a formal apology to Manny.

But if they come in at -5, will we say that they're really +30?

I'm always shocked by how high Philly says the payroll is.

Isn't that just because he figures the luxury tax numbers? You know, 40-man plus benefits. 15 guys at league minimum and the mandated set-aside is $15M easy.
   28. SG Posted: December 16, 2009 at 01:31 AM (#3414227)
FWIW, CAIRO sees Cameron around .244/.332/.431 in Fenway.
   29. tfbg9 Posted: December 16, 2009 at 01:31 AM (#3414228)
#20-thank you. Greenwell was awful. Not just no range, not just poor routes to the ball, he was wince & hold your
breath on any fly ball bad. On windy days it was almost funny, as long as you were drinking.

He could really hit for a few years there, though.
   30. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 16, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3414619)
MWE, I proposed Buchholz/Ellsbury/cash for Gonzalez/Kouzmanoff at BP...and I got ridiculed. Would that really be a foolish trade for SD?
   31. scotto Posted: December 16, 2009 at 03:31 PM (#3414652)
I was a fan of Greenie's for a while, early in his career when it was easy to be. Like almost every other fan, I thought he'd be one of the pantheon of Red Sox left fielders, joining Williams, Yaz, and Rice. After blowing out his ankle it became apparent that he didn't belong there, and he alone seemed to persist in that belief. Towards the end of his career he made what seemed to me to be a lot of obnoxious comments.

Looking back at his BBREF page, I'm surprised at how misaligned my expectations of his OPS+ towards the end of his tenure are to what they really were. He wasn't Billy Hatcher at the end of his career after all, but he certainly wasn't what you wanted in a Boston LFer either.

If I ever end up in Coral Gables, FL I'm going to be sure to stop by his family fun park to pay my respects, and do so without irony.
   32. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 16, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3414802)
Looking at payroll, how do we count Matsuzaka's $51M posting fee? In some ways, it makes sense to spread it out over the life of the contract, adding $8.5M a year to the 2007-2012 payrolls. On the other hand, the Sox had to pay it all at once, so it should be added to their '07 payroll, bringing them up to $194M, per Cot's. The one thing it doesn't make any sense to do is ignore it completely, as is so often the case when discussing how much Boston spends on its roster.
   33. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 16, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3414822)
I had Hermedia once. Doctor gave me some drugs and all is better now.


You gotta quit picking up women at the free clinic.
   34. Marcel Posted: December 16, 2009 at 05:13 PM (#3414831)
There's no reason to include it with the payroll at all. It wasn't a payroll expense and shouldn't be counted as such.
   35. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 16, 2009 at 07:38 PM (#3415118)
It was $51M paid up front to sign a major league player. It might not technically count as payroll, but it is in spirit. Where else would you count it? It's a lot closer to a payroll expense than it is to $2M for a 16 year old Dominican or capital investments in Fenway Park.
   36. The Marksist Posted: December 18, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3416738)
It was $51M paid up front to sign a major league player. It might not technically count as payroll, but it is in spirit.


It doesn't count under MLB's luxury tax accounting rules, so any official estimate of payroll should ignore it. If you're doing some other kind of accounting, deal with it any way that makes sense to you.

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