The Milwaukee Brewers don't have top center field prospect waiting in AAA. They don't have unlimited funds to bring in over priced free agents. They do, however, have a class act manning center field right now in Mike Cameron.
Cameron, a free agent this offseason, just made it clear how interested he is in staying in Milwaukee. Cameron said that he would be willing to sign for under market value to stay in Milwaukee. There are two questions that need to be answered. How much is market value for Cameron and are the Brewers willing to resign him?
Market value for Cameron is a tough question to answer. If the Brewers offer him arbitration, Cameron is going to get a raise in arbitration. So, saying the Brewers don't take this approach, what would it take? A great deal for the Brewers would be one similar to the deal that Trevor Hoffman signed this past offseason. It may be unreasonable to expect that kind of discount. Whatever the price, I high doubt that it is going to take away from the Brewers pursuit of starting pitching. I believe the right way to improve the staff is via trades.
I am a huge fan of Cameron. He is an above average centerfielder, both defensively and offensively. Although his range has started to decline, Cameron is still one of the best outfielders in baseball. Even more encouraging is his discipline at the plate this season.
Cameron is the critic of a lot of fans in Milwaukee due to his high strikeout totals. What many fail to see is how good of an eye Cameron possess. This season Cameron is striking out 29% of the time, a very high rate. However, Cameron is able to draw walks at an equally impressive 13.1% of the time.
What makes Cameron so valuable is how good of a hitter he is for a centerfielder. Cameron has the rare combination of patience and power. He is slugging .460 and carries an on base percentage of .357 for an OPS of .817. That OPS ranks much higher than the league average of .756.
I feel much better about next season after hearing this news. Cameron is an integral part of the Brewers. Not signing him back would be a big mistake.