Alex Speier of WEEI.com has a good article about Mike Cameron, who was signed to be the Red Sox’s starting center fielder last offseason and is now slated to be their fourth outfielder following an injury wrecked season and the Carl Crawford signing.
General manager Theo Epstein called Cameron before the Crawford deal was official to inform the veteran outfielder he was no longer likely to be a starter, yet a short time later Cameron still called Crawford to welcome him to Boston.
Cameron is under contract for $7.25 million this season, but his agent told Speier that he’s “not angling to leave the Red Sox just for the sake of more playing time elsewhere” and “has not requested a trade.”
Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew are the Red Sox’s projected starters, so right now Cameron’s role would likely be limited to starting in place of Ellsbury or Drew against some left-handed pitchers and stepping into the lineup when injuries hit. That would be a big change for a player who’s been a starting center fielder for the past 14 seasons, but if Cameron is indeed willing to accept a part-time role it would give the Red Sox a great fallback option following a season in which injuries tested the organization’s depth.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.