Cameron finalizes $15.5M deal with BoSox

BY Ken Rosenthal • December 15, 2009

The Boston Red Sox will not be signing either Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.

Instead, the team went with free-agent outfielder Mike Cameron. The two sides finalized the deal Wednesday.

The three-time Gold Glove winner who became a free agent after two seasons in Milwaukee finalized a two-year, $15.5 million contract. He gets a $1 million signing bonus and annual salaries of $7.25 million.

"Mike is a big part of our offseason puzzle," general manager Theo Epstein said.

Cameron would be an everyday player for the Red Sox, one source said; none of the deals he was discussing with clubs involved a platoon.

"It's a pretty special moment because I haven't really been this excited about coming somewhere since I first came to the big leagues,'' Cameron said. "This is one of those historical parks that you get a chance to play in and, hopefully, put a couple of dents in the (Green) Monster.''

It is not known whether he would play center of left field. Jacoby Ellsbury is currently the Red Sox's center fielder, but the Sox have told other clubs that they were considering moving him to left field.

Bay turned down the Red Sox's latest offer over the weekend and is entertaining better proposals from other clubs, according to his agent, Joe Urbon.

Holliday was believed to be the leading alternative to Bay, and the Red Sox's signing of Cameron seemingly would improve the Cardinals' chances of retaining the free-agent left fielder.

Also Wednesday, the Red Sox finalized a five-year deal with free-agent right-hander John Lackey.

Lackey will receive $82.5 million over five years.



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