Monday, February 21, 2011
Cameron: Why would I want to leave?
By Gordon Edes
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There’s a difference between anticipating that your name will come up in trade talks and either pushing for a trade or wanting one to happen.
Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron imagines the Red Sox may receive a few inquiries about his availability this spring. At $7.25 million, he is drawing a salary commensurate to a starting outfielder, not a fourth outfielder, which is what his role is projected to be with the Sox this season.
But Cameron is not pushing for a trade, nor hoping that one happens.
“Why would I want to be traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks to play every day and miss out on the opportunity here?” Cameron asked at training camp Monday. “And why would I want to go somewhere else for the same role that I have here?
This is Cameron’s 15th full season in the big leagues. Every year that he has played since 1997, he has come into the season as an everyday player. He played just 76 games for the New York Mets after a horrific collision with Carlos Beltran in the outfield, and last season he was limited to 48 games with the Red Sox after tearing an abdominal muscle.
When the Sox signed Cameron to a two-year deal prior to the 2010 season, the plan was for him to become the full-time center fielder, with Jacoby Ellsbury moving to left, though Terry Francona had left open the possibility of switching the pair at some stage of the season. The original plan never materialized, as both Cameron and Ellsbury were injured.
Now Cameron comes back as an extra. “This is uncharted territory for me, too,’’ he said.
But he is happy with the way his body has responded so far in camp -- “I’m feeling the usual soreness,’’ he said -- and is prepared to get the majority of his at-bats in right field, facing lefties when J.D. Drew sits, and in center when he spells Ellsbury.
He does not expect to serve as DH, and Terry Francona over the weekend had said that Kevin Youkilis would probably DH, with Jed Lowrie playing third.
“But I’m happy right here,’’ he said. “I tried to get back to Atlanta [his hometown] for four years, and that never happened, so I don’t even think about that anymore.’’