Earlier in the season I compared the knee-braced Preston Wilson with a six pack of knee highs and came to the determination that the nylons were the way to go for their durability, usefulness and price. Now, I think I still might go that direction myself because I can't really afford a major league ballblayer right now, but for those teams that can, I think I'll provide a little help if they are looking toward filling needs in center.
The three candidates rumored to being shopped around are P-dub, Mark Kotsay and Mike Cameron.
Preston, age 30 (turns 31 in less than a month), hits for power, plays some D.
His AVG/OBP/SLG right now sits at .262/.324/.493. Cameron this year has shown more power, but Wilson has shown more throughout his career. Wilson has averaged 131 games per season and could be relatively fragile. Wilson's huge salary is probably the biggest influence in keeping teams away from bidding as the Rox don't want to be left paying the tab for a player on another team. According to Baseball Reference Wilson has a career park adjusted OPS+ of 107 (meaning he has hit about 7% better than the average ballplayer throughout his career)
Kotsay is a little more than a year younger at 29, and has a cannon for an arm
Kotsay's got the moxie and seems to be everybody's primary target but Billy Beane is likely to drive a harder bargain than Dan O'Dowd in letting him go. His stats aren't that impressive (.284/.342/.405) and off of what he did last year. Don't let people fool you into thinking that Wilson's a poorer hitter because his stats are inflated by Coors Field. Wilson's poor start when he still had the brace on deflates his projected numbers as much as Coors inflates them now. Still, Kotsay's quite a bit cheaper and has averaged 143 games a season since he's been a regular. BR shows his career bat to be about 3% above average, which isn't bad for a centerfielder.
Mike Cameron is the oldest of the bunch, about six months older than Wilson in fact, but I don't know why people bring up age as at this point the three are close enough together and far enough past their primes that it makes little difference. Cameron has averaged 144 games per season but because of recent injury trouble and his age, it's suggested that he may be as fragile as Wilson, but like I said, I think all three carry a bit more injury risk than, say a twenty-five year old. I know this doesn't matter to you and me, but baseball execs seem to care about the following: Cameron is the only one of the three to have playoff experience, even though he wasn't all that effective. Cameron's career shows him to have an OPS+ of 105, and yet this year he's playing like he really cares for some reason with a line of .298/.399/.536. Way to drive your trade value up, Cam. Anyway, he's also the cheapest of the three, but the Mets are trying to meet a lot of needs with him (being in a playoff run themselves) and might be asking for too much in return.
That's it for now. Ta-ta