The Seattle Mariners have signed veteran free agent righty reliever Shawn Camp to a one-year Major League contract.
I was going to begin this post by writing about Shawn Camp as if he were Shawn Kemp. Then I remembered that I'm writing for Baseball Nation and readers of Baseball Nation might not be familiar with the former basketball player who peaked 15 years ago. So now I'm going to write about Shawn Camp as if he were Shawn Camp, which he is. Shawn Camp is a Seattle Mariner now. Shannon Drayer:
Kuo is not the only reliever the #Mariners have signed today. Also signed ex Jay Shawn Camp to a major league deal. Roster moves coming...
We don't know terms, but we don't really need to know terms. Camp is presumably signing a one-year contract. It is presumably worth $1 million or $2 million or somewhere in between. Camp earned $2.25 million last season and posted the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career.
Camp's 36 and right-handed. He was a Royal, then he was a Devil Ray, then he was a Blue Jay. He broke out as a Blue Jay, posting a 3.63 ERA over the past four seasons. His strikeout rate has also declined over the past four seasons, which doesn't bode very well, but Camp is a guy who survives with strikes and ground balls, and he still throws strikes and gets ground balls. Basically, he's a middle reliever, who does middle reliever things.
He doesn't throw very hard. He's kind of a side-armer, which lefties have regularly exploited. He is not a guy you want to have face many lefties in important spots. But I don't know how many important spots the Mariners will really have, when you get right down to it, and I'm guessing Camp was acquired as much for his leadership potential as anything else. The Mariners have wanted to get some old guys to help guide their young guys, and Camp is an old guy, in baseball terms.
As a fun fact, Shawn Camp's most similar pitcher, according to Baseball-Reference, is Cliff Politte. Remember Cliff Politte? Cliff Politte was also a Blue Jays reliever for some time. He and Shawn Camp occupy the same general space in my brain. You could say that they're camping there. Haha!