Friday, January 11, 2008

Mike Cameron Signs With Milwaukee - Fantasy Values Of Ryan Braun & Bill Hall Impacted

Reinforcing an earlier post in which we declared the rumors linking Mike Cameron to the Yankees as a fabrication, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Cameron has signed a one-year deal to play center field for the Milwaukee Brewers with a club option for 2009.

The signing should benefit Cameron who moves from one of the best pitchers parks in baseball to one of the best hitters parks. He also joins a far superior lineup in Milwaukee, which lead the National League in homeruns last season.

Cameron, a perennial 20-20 threat (homeruns & stolen bases), could hit anywhere from second to seventh in a loaded Brewers lineup. If he ends up in the two hole, fantasy owners will enjoy solid run and stolen base numbers in addition to his power numbers which should get a boost as he leaves Cavernous Petco Park behind.

Remember, Cameron is suspended for the first 25 games of the season after testing positive for stimulants; however, he still has a chance to finish around the 20-15 - 20-20 range. Just don't count on him for any semblance of help in batting average and be wary of his high strikeout totals if you count that statistic.

With Cameron in center, the Brewers will now be able to move young slugger Ryan Braun to left field. Braun, who put up incredible numbers last season - 34 HR 97 RBI 15 SB - especially since he was a rookie who only played in 112 games. Now, he will now be an outfielder with 3B eligibility which should eliminate his only fantasy shortcoming, errors, while providing fantasy owners with great flexibility in setting lineups. Braun committed 26 errors in only 112 games at third base last season which is awful anyway you slice it. Phil will have plenty more for us on Braun as the season approaches

Presumably this signing pushes the versatile Bill Hall back to third base from the outfield. However, the Brewers may now be inclined to trade him for starting pitching help and I would imagine several teams are interested in adding his services. Until we hear a definitive statement from the Brewers about Hall being their third baseman or a trade is made ensuring he plays everyday, I would consider his value in limbo.

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