Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Is Byrnes The Next To Go?

New York city loves its newspapers and its baseball rumors.

The latest was published Sunday and it involves the A’s and Eric Byrnes.

Mike Cameron was the apple of Billy Beane’s eye during the winter of 2003. Cameron told me he was offered more money by the A’s to sign here as a free agent, but chose the bright lights in NY, a place he always wanted to play.

Well, Mike has joined the crowd of disgruntled players who have the seen the Big Apple turn an unfriendly eye towards their game.

Now the Mets have 117 million invested in Carlos Beltran. Cameron sees the handwriting on the wall. A gifted centerfielder, Cameron’s days in center are over and he is being asked to change outfield positions.

This is where the A’s come in.

Click below for more!Oakland needs a righthanded bat to hit fourth behind Eric Chavez.

Cameron hit 30 homers for the Mets last season, but struck out over 140 times, and hit about .230.

Not good numbers for a clean up hitter in the American League. Cameron can steal bases, but the A’s don’t run unless the game is on the line or they have a two or three run lead. The stolen base is not in their offensive arsenal.

Is it worth giving up Eric Byrnes for Cameron?

If Cameron came into Oakland, Mark Kotsay could move to right field which isn’t a bad thought because Nick Swisher would cause less damage in left in a platoon with Charles Thomas.

The A’s are always dollar conscious and now want to include Chad Bradford in the deal, thereby offsetting all but a couple of million of Cameron’s 2005 salary.

I like Bradford and firmly believe that the A’s need him in the pen this year. You are asking a lot if you want Huston Street and Jairo Garcia to be part of a championship pen in 2005. They are raw rookies.

Bradford is a good complement to Juan Cruz and Kiko Calero, two 94 plus fastball pitchers.

Ken Macha knows how to use Bradford: no lefties, especially Carl Everett.

Byrnes is a fan favorite. He doesn’t use the whole field to hit the ball like the A’s want. Byrnes would rather hit home runs.

Byrnes had a good year defensively, but still isn’t trusted.

Byrnes can’t really hit the way the A’s want, field the way they want, or play the way they want. He is a crowd pleaser and finds a way to beat you. That he is!

Cameron had numerous injuries last season including one to his wrist which still hasn’t healed. He is supposed to miss the beginning of the season.

So what do you do?

Byrnes for Cameron straight up? I wonder about Cameron’s health. If completely healthy (which he isn’t), I’d make the move, but wouldn’t include Bradford in the deal.

Cameron was an excellent player in Seattle, he is a terrific person, a good club house man.

I’d want to be darn sure that Cameron would be ready to play in May and not be out any longer.

Thumb, wrist, and hand injuries worry me in baseball. The hands are critical to batting success.

Cameron can give you what Byrnes does at the plate and more defense in center than even Kotsay can.

Believe it or not, I wouldn’t part with Bradford in this trade if that’s what it takes to bring Cameron in.

Straight up I’d do it, but would be very hesitant because of the injury.

What do you think?


1 Anonymous { 01.17.05 at 1:22 pm }

Cameron/Byrnes trade without Bradford would be the best case scenerio but the injuries will always be the deal breaker. In this offseason, all of us in the Oakland faithful would love to see Byrnes staying and starting, but the business of baseball rules this time of year. According to Oakland Trib, Cameron wants to stay on the East Coast. Also, heard a rumor about the O’s being interested, too.

Catch Inside Baseball: Winter Edition this Thursday(1/20).
Thank you, Marty for being on air this cold and wet winter.
-Pachyderm(Edgar B. Martinez)

2 Anonymous { 01.17.05 at 7:49 pm }

Does Billy want to continue to break our hearts?

I love Eric Byrnes. He plays baseball like it should be played. Maybe he isn’t the most naturally gifted player, but he brings so much more to the table. Read Susan Slusser’s piece about Dominican baseball. Byrnes is so greatly loved there. Just like he is here.

Why do we want Cameron? Kotsay is great in center. Cameron was unhappy in NY–what will he think of a team being remade with rookies and no money to spend on more? 230 batting average and 140 K’s. Bad for Oakland and their style of ball.

Billy, yes maybe Byrnes is at his greatest value right now (I frankly don’t think so–I think he will have a breakout year in 2005), but listen to the fans. Hudson is gone. Without Byrnes we will need to rely on Chavez for team spirit. That is an ugly thought.

3 Anonymous { 01.18.05 at 9:36 am }

As much as I think that it is great that Byrnes plays his heart out on the field, we shouldnt keep him just because he is a fan favorite. By your logic Matt Stairs and Rickey Henderson should be in the outfield and that is a scary thought. The honest truth is that the fans will love a winner more than the will love a guy who trys hard and loses. I think it is a great trade, but without bradford. Byrnes is overrated and it is time to cash in.
–Luis AkA Huddyfan15

4 Anonymous { 01.18.05 at 12:40 pm }

Byrnes is excruciating to watch. He is bad on defense (he dives cause he takes terrible routes to the ball, not cause he is a good fielder), can’t run the bases and tries to hit too many homeruns. Get something for Byrnes while you can, Billy.
-Mike E.

5 marty { 01.18.05 at 2:22 pm }

Sounds to me that the A’s are adamant about trading Byrnes. Money, money, money they don’t want to pay 2 million for a player who most likely will be behind Charles Thomas and Nick Swisher in the A’s outfield.

6 Anonymous { 01.18.05 at 2:37 pm }

Players like Byrnes are great for the game. Now that Billy Beane got rid of Hudson and Mulder, the only good thing at the Oakland Coliseum will be to watch Eric Byrnes giving his heart in the outfield. I rather have Eric Byrnes that a bunch a player like Cameron that doesn’t care about performing.
Adolfo AkA Byrnesfan15

7 Anonymous { 01.18.05 at 6:05 pm }

My concern is mostly that Cameron is 32 and has some serious health issues. Plus, wouldn’t his salary eat up the little extra $$ that Beane likes to have for possible midseason trades?
Oakland Si

8 marty { 01.19.05 at 4:02 pm }


Read your views about the possible deal– Byrnes for Cameron. If Byrnes is dealt, I don’t think Cameron’s “the guy”– certainly not even up. I’d demand a solid prospect as well, especially since the A’s would be taking on a rather hefty contract. And as you say, the wrist has to be a concern. You’re getting damaged goods and a strike-out machine to boot. It would be one thing if the A’s didn’t have a terrific centerfielder, but they do in Kotsay.

Bobby Kielty may become a key player in this whole process. Beane obviously believed in him enough to trade for him, and Billy may be looking for a way to prove the deal that cost him Lilly made some sense. With Kielty being signed for around $800,000 (plus incentives), I’m wondering if the stage is now set to deal Byrnes– but maybe not to the Mets (or Dbacks)?

Have you read the newspaper reports about the White Sox looking at Byrnes and Bradford? The Sun-Times reported last week, that the Sox might be offering former A’s reliever Luis Vizcaino. No other Sox players or prospects were mentioned. Vizcaino, who had a fine season, makes less than Bradford. That might be appealing to the A’s. I would assume the A’s would demand Chicago include one of their blue-chip outfield prospects, either Ryan Sweeney or Brian Anderson.

Hope Byrnes stays, but I’m sensing that he’s just not Beane’s kind of guy.


9 Anonymous { 01.20.05 at 1:50 pm }

Short and simple: Byrnes is gone for sure. I’m pretty darn confident in that probability. Why? BB is a man who likes to get his man. Last year Cameron was his man and he missed out. When he goes hard after someone, he stays on their trail for as long as it takes (Durazo, etc.).
It will be for Byrnes and Bradford, as expected. And I’m not so sure this is such a good thing. Yes we desperately need a cleanup hitter. But Cameron?
Sure he hit 30 homers last year. But with the truck load of strike outs and emaciated average, is 10 more homers than Byrnes’ 20 that big a deal?
Byrnes is not the man. He’s overrated. But when paired up next to Cameron, I bet his overall production is pretty darn close.
Plus, Bradford, while not what he used to be, is certainly a valuable player. And certainly valuable to this bullpen in particular when you look at all the flamethrowers.
Eric Byrnes and Chad Bradford for Mike Cameron is not in the A’s best interest.

10 Anonymous { 01.20.05 at 7:26 pm }

If the wall was written by bad journalist who work at the Merc. Also, Cameron would also have the same dilemma with the A’s as he does with the Mets. Plus, the A’s need Bradford to take Mecir’s old role.

-Pachyderm(Edgar Martinez)

11 Anonymous { 09.05.06 at 6:50 pm }

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12 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:15 pm }

13 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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