FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Cameron has looked very good in spring training so far, seemingly recovered from his hernia and groin surgery and back to being a player with a valuable combination of power and speed.
"He's what the Red Sox thought they had last year," a scout said yesterday. "He doesn't look 38 to me."
The news that the Phillies have lost Domonic Brown (fractured hamate bone in his right hand) for as long as six weeks will spark talk of a trade. As Nick Cafardo mentioned in his notes column today, the Phillies were a good fit all along. Now there's even more of a need.
But the Red Sox should tread carefully here. While $7.5 million is a lot to pay for a fourth outfielder and losing that salary would create flexibility for any deals needed in July, Cameron could play a valuable role on this team.
With three lefty hitting outfielders and a lefty DH, Cameron can be a big weapon off the bench. The Sox also have no guarantees on the health of J.D. Drew (who reported to camp with a sore left hamstring) or Jacoby Ellsbury.
Cameron could get 350-400 at-bats this season helping to balance the lineup. It would make little sense to trade him and take that option away from Terry Francona.
The other righthanded hitting outfielders in camp — Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava (a switch hitter), Che-Hsuan Lin and Juan Carlos Linares — are not of his caliber.
Still, you have to think the Phillies will inquire.