Cameron: Prince would add 'buzz' to DC
Veteran outfielder endorses Nationals' pursuit of free agent
WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Mike Cameron said that free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder would be a great fit for the Nationals because his presence would make them a force in the National League East.
Cameron, who recently signed a Minor League deal with Washington, should know. He played with Fielder for two years when both were members of the Brewers in 2008 and '09. Cameron said Fielder brings a lot of intensity on the field but is quiet off it.
"From a baseball standpoint, he would do wonders for Jayson Werth, Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman," Cameron said via phone. "[Fielder] would carry the bulk of the offense on that club. No knock against Adam LaRoche, but Prince Fielder -- man -- he speaks softly and carries a big stick. ... [He would make] that team a viable threat in the National League. That would bring the Nationals to the forefront, just because he creates a visible buzz about where they are going. The guy is only 27 years old."
It bothers Cameron that published reports harp on Fielder's weight, which is listed at 275 pounds. There is a concern about Fielder's physical condition, and members of the Nationals' front office believe Fielder will essentially be a designated hitter within a few years.
Cameron pointed out that Fielder is a hard worker in the weight room and underrated as a baserunner and defender at first base.
"The guy has been the same size forever," Cameron said. "He works his tail to stay where he is. ... From a standpoint of people looking at him, [people] think he will change, get bigger. But the guy is 5-foot-11 and as solid as you can get. The man is a human beast. I don't think people look at his ability to move around. I don't see any negativity toward having a guy like Prince Fielder on your ballclub, because he is going to make the team that much better."
Cameron doesn't have the inside scoop on where Fielder will play during the 2012 season. At first, Cameron thought Fielder was going to sign with the Cubs, because of Fielder's working relationship with manager Dale Sveum, who was a bench, third-base and hitting coach during Fielder's seven seasons in Milwaukee.
"He is really tight with Dale Sveum," Cameron said.
Cameron later thought Fielder would go back to the Brewers before thinking he could sign with the Orioles.
"I don't have the slightest idea," Cameron said. "Maybe if I talk to him, it would be a little different. I haven't talked to him. Obviously, it seems logical that D.C. [would be a perfect fit]. No knock against LaRoche, but you have a chance to get one of the best players in the game."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.