Brewers, Cameron strike deal to bolster outfield depth

Updated: January 14, 2008, 9:06 PM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with center fielder Mike Cameron.

Mike Cameron

Cameron

Cameron, 34, hit 21 homers and drove in 78 runs for the Padres last year. He will miss the first 25 games of the 2008 season, as he serves a suspension under the terms of baseball's drug-testing program.

He would miss the first 29 days of next season and lose $792,350 in salary because of the suspension, assuming postponements don't extend the ban.

Cameron gets a $1.25 million signing bonus and $5 million next season. Milwaukee has a $10 million option for 2009, with a $750,000 buyout.

In addition, Cameron can earn $750,000 annually in performance bonuses. He would get the full amount for 475 plate appearances next year and for 575 in 2009.

Cameron also receives a limited no-trade clause.

Cameron will presumably play center field for the Brewers, who have reportedly spoken with Bill Hall, the team's center fielder last year, about moving to third base. If that happens, Ryan Braun would shift from third base to left field.

Milwaukee had a void in the outfield after longtime Brewer Geoff Jenkins became a free agent and agreed last month to a $13 million, two-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. In addition, Kevin Mench became a free agent when Milwaukee failed to offer a 2008 contract.

The New York Yankees also were interested in Cameron.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine