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Cameron lands at Shea
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Old 14 Dec 2003, 01:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cameron lands at Shea

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Free agent Mike Cameron and the New York Mets reached agreement Saturday on a three-year deal for $19.5 million, ending the team's search for a center fielder with outstanding defensive skills.

Cameron also had been courted by San Diego and Oakland. But the Mets were more desperate for an everyday center fielder, having tried without success to fill the full-time spot since trading Jay Payton during the 2002 season.



Cameron was in New Orleans this week, and personally met with the Mets. He also got phone calls from current Mets, urging him to join the team.

"Some Mets players were very involved in the process," said Cameron's agent, Mike Nicotera.

Cameron, 30, hit .253 with 18 home runs with 76 RBIs and 17 stolen bases for Seattle last season.

Cameron won a Gold Glove in 2001 and was an All-Star with the Mariners that season.

The chance to move East, closer to his family in Atlanta, played a role in Cameron's decision.

"The proximity to his house, his home, the ease with which he can transport his family back and forth was a factor, absolutely," Nicotera said.

Cameron tied a major league record by hitting four home runs in a game in 2002. Even though he's twice hit 25 homers in a year, he's not noted for his power.

The Mets stumbled to a last-place finish in 2003, and their outfield defense was a glaring problem. Timo Perez, Roger Cedeno and hobbled Cliff Floyd all struggled to track down balls, and the Mets were determined to acquire a high-caliber player to put out there.

Cameron's contract is subject to him passing a physical. The Mets would be his fourth team after he started with the Chicago White Sox, played a year in Cincinnati and moved to Seattle for the 2000 season.

"All the games he won in Seattle were very satisfying. There was nothing more satisfying than helping to turn that Reds team around," Nicotera said.

Cameron is a career .250 hitter with 131 home runs and 194 steals.
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I think this is a pretty solid pick up for the Mets. Outside of Hunter and Jones he is probably the best defensive CF in the game. The Mets sorely needed to shore up their CF defense after the shitty play of Cedeno and Perez in center last year. Adding him to the recently signed Matsui and Reyes the Mets might have the best up the middle defense in all of baseball. The only drawback with Cameron is his strikeouts. I think he can hit at least 270-280 with 25 HR's and 90-100 RBI's this upcoming season
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Old 14 Dec 2003, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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An ok move on the part of the muts, but they're still not going to over take the Braves and Phillies in the east this season.
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