Today the Chicago Cubs announced that they’ve re-signed relieve Shawn Camp to a one-year, $1.35 million deal, which includes another $200,000 in incentives.
Camp was the Cubs’ most reliable reliever last year after the team picked him up off of the scrap heap at the end of Spring Training. Dale Sveum even repeatedly called Camp one of his MVPs.
Camp, who just turned 37, put up a 3.59 ERA and 1.288 WHIP over 77.2 innings. He was one of the most used relievers in baseball, and put up a nice 2.57 K/BB ratio over that stretch. His numbers would look even better if not for just a couple terrible August/September outings, but I suppose we can play that game with just about everyone.
He’ll return to his duties in the latter middle innings (is that a thing?) for the Cubs in 2013, who undoubtedly wouldn’t hate it if he improved on his 2012 performance, allowing them to flip him for a modest prospect at the deadline.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The incentives are likely tied to closing games, something Camp is unlikely to be doing in 2013 (and, if he is, it will be with an eye toward upping his possible trade value).
All in all, it’s a fine deal. The bullpen keeps some consistency, and gets a solid middle reliever for relatively cheap. Sure, you hate paying for veteran middle relievers, but there’s something to be said for having some veteran presence out there with all the youngsters.
The timing of the signing is the only part that gets me. I suppose it’s possible that some other teams were really making a push, but tomorrow is the 40-man deadline for purposes of the Rule 5 Draft. Couldn’t the Cubs have waited a few weeks to re-sign Camp? They must know something we don’t …
As it stands, the 40-man is now at 39. They’ve got to do something before tomorrow. I reckon there’s some doin’s a-happenin’.