The New York Yankees are the 800-lb gorilla in any free agent discussions. No matter what, a free agent's financial interests are served by having the Yankees involved as a possible suitor. George King III of the NY Post reports the Yankees may be interested in 36-year-old CF Mike Cameron if the Milwaukee Brewers decline his $10MM option.
With Xavier Nady, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Melky Cabrera already on the roster and rookie OF Brett Gardner who has impressed some in the Yankees management, I don't see any reason to bring in another veteran player with diminished skills.
I do see why Mike Cameron would want to be associated with the New York Yankees, though. Worst, the Brewers pick-up the $10MM option. Not as bad, the option isn't picked-up and Cameron gets paid more as a free agent.
According to King's NY Post colleague Joel Sherman, the Yanks plan to offer Bobby Abreu arbitration. If true, Mike Cameron-as-a-Yankee only comes to fruition if Bobby Abrue declines the offer of arbitration. Personally, I am ambivalent to Abreu accepting or declining.
If he declines, then the Yankees likely reap Type A free agent compensation - a 1st and supplemental round pick. if he accepts, the Yankees add a quality OF at a premium price for just one season. Imagine how many suitors Manny Ramirez would have in a similar situation.
In non-Yankee-centric trade news, Keith Law offers a fresh perspective on the Jake Peavy rumors. After reviewing what was paid for a top-line starting pitcher over the past year (C.C. Sabathia, Johan Santana, Rich Harden, Dan Haren), KLaw concludes the recent rumors of top prospects Tommy Hanson and Jordan Schafer and starting middle infielder Yunel Escobar or Kelly Johnson for Jake Peavy to be completely disconnected to the markets established by the previous trade for top starting pitchers.
If San Diego is looking for that much big-league and prospect value in return for Peavy, odds are he'll still be a Padre at Christmas. The Padres have an opportunity to move quickly here as the lone seller before free agency brings a flood of high-end pitching, as Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe, Ryan Dempster, and Oliver Perez will all be available without requiring teams to give up any prospects at all. If the take from Sherman's sources on the asking price is accurate, the Padres will have to lower their demands to get a deal done -- and Padre fans should lower their expectations as well.
Or the Padres will reap the same bounty the Twins did for their ace Johann Santana - a good CF prospect, a couple back-end starters and a young high-celing prospect.