Thought he only signed a minor league contract, since mid-December it’s been largely expected by most that Mike Cameron would somehow play into the center field mix for the Nationals this season. At best, he’d win the starting role with an impressive Spring, proving that age and attitude were no longer a concern. At worst, he’d struggle in game action, leading to the tough decision whether to accept a minor league assignment or hope that another organization will give him a chance.
It would seem there won’t be a need to wait any longer to see how this one plays out. According to the team’s official Twitter feed, Cameron informed the team this morning that he’s decided to retire rather than report to Spring Training. The 39 year old batted .249/.338/.444 with 278 HR and 968 RBI over a 17 year career.
Back in December, when his signing was first announced, I expressed some displeasure with the idea but accepted the possibility that it could end up working out in the end. I had watched Cameron pout his way out of Boston last season and simply preferred to give the plate appearances to anyone else. So when things are all said and done, I’m not inclined to think this sudden retirement is necessarily a bad thing – or one that will drastically affect the 25-man roster that heads to Washington in six weeks.