Cameron, Nats come to terms on Minors deal
Veteran outfielder eager to serve as mentor to young players
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have agreed on a Minor League deal with outfielder Mike Cameron.
Manager Davey Johnson said that he is looking for power off the bench and Cameron, who will turn 39 on Jan. 8, could be one of his answers. Besides coming off the bench, Cameron could platoon with Roger Bernadina in center field.
"I thought it would be a great opportunity," said Cameron. "I've always been an admirer of D.C., because I have family that lives up there. I just felt it would be a good place to play baseball. I like [Nationals Park]. It's a nice park. There weren't too many places I was going to go."
This season, Cameron played for the Red Sox and Marlins and hit a combined .203, with nine home runs and 27 RBIs. He is best remembered for being traded from the Reds to the Mariners as part of the deal that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati after the 1999 season.
As it turned out, the Mariners were the winners of the deal. While Griffey spent a lot of time on the disabled list, Cameron was an All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove winner. His best season was 2001, when he hit .267, with 25 home runs and 110 RBIs.
During his career, Cameron has played for eight teams, including the White Sox, Mets, Padres and Brewers. Cameron has a career .249 batting average, 278 home runs and 968 RBIs.
Cameron also indicated that 2012 most likely will be his last year. During his time with the Nationals, Cameron wants to become a mentor to players like Bernadina.
"I'm with a good team," Cameron said. "I get a chance to mentor a couple of young guys. I heard a lot about Bernadina. I've seen him play a little bit."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.