The Padres took a step towards reworking one of the worst defensive outfields in baseball by dealing Xavier Nady, a well-regarded hitter who has been a disappointment for most of his major league career, to the Mets for center fielder Mike Cameron. The Mets and Padres had different goals, and both team may take a step forward because of this deal.
The Padres simply had to acquire a real center fielder. Playing in spacious Petco Park, they simply couldn't accept an outfield defense that included both Ryan Klesko and Xavier Nady trying to catch fly balls. Cameron gives them a player with an excellent defensive reputation who allows them to reshape their outfield in pursuit of another division title and a more lengthy stay in the playoffs. Entering his age-33 season, we should expect to see some decline, but there's little doubt that Cameron is still one of the best center fielders in the game and a far better fit for their roster than Nady was.
The Mets simply didn't have the same need for Cameron, with Carlos Beltran covering ground in Shea for the next six years. As a right fielder, a large part of Cameron's value was being under-utilzed, and he had more value to other teams than he did to New York. With GM Omar Minaya once again looking to make a few big name acquisitions, removing Cameron from the roster also gives them an extra $7 million to play around with, which Minaya will no doubt reallocate to other parts of the roster.
The Padres certainly got better, though it came at the cost of some financial flexibility. The Mets moved a piece that was superflous on their roster and created some more money to play with. Win-Win for both teams, though I have to wonder if the Mets could have gotten more for Cameron in a market where a lot of teams need a player of his abilities.
Dave Cameron, USSMariner.com
I'm not sure why San Diego was in such a hurry to trade Nady, but at least they got a useful player in return. Cameron's defense alone is enough to part with Nady, who wasn't likely to solidify a starting spot in the Padres lineup.
One will have to wonder about Cameron's health but the $7 million or so that San Diego took on is only for next season - no long term issues for the Padres and Kevin Towers.
This probably means the end of the line for Brian Giles in a Padres uniform, however. I like Cameron to repeat the rates of his 2004-2005 numbers. All in all, a solid deal for Towers.
The Mets are certainly working on a second piece to this deal. The money they cleared was the objective. Expect heavy efforts for Carlos Delgado and Manny Ramirez to follow.
The Padres win out in this trade, as it stands alone. But if Minaya is able to land another slugger as a result, it's win-win transaction.
If Nady goes to the AL, I'd expect him to hit 25 homers with regular play.
National League West Scout
I do not like this trade, and I know of a Padres scout who doesn't like it either. The upside of Cameron is his defense, but it comes with a bit of a health risk, as well as the idea that he may be declining. Plus, at $7 million?
I'd rather have made a deal for Juan Pierre, who has a chance to succeed for 162 games, and into 2007 and 2008.
San Diego's outfield defense was worse than bad last year, but all they got was a one-year fix that costs them 15% of their projected payroll. And he doesn't really do a whole lot for their offense.
Cameron is still a gold glove man with 25-homer power, but he'll continue to strikeout at high rates and he may only stand in for 115-120 games.
From the Mets POV, I understand the idea, but don't understand why they couldn't have gotten more for Cameron, since half the league is in need of a legit defensive center fielder who isn't a liability at the plate.
If it wasn't obvious that Minaya was setting up for a bigger move, it'd be a D- trade for them.
2006? Nady will out-hit Cameron, if given the chance.
American League Farm Director, former Scouting Coordinator
Trade: Cameron for Nady
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