The Chicago Cubs have signed their lone free agent on Monday. The Cubs have announced that they have re-signed reliever Shawn Camp to one year deal for $1.35 million. The contract includes incentives which could push the value of the contract a little over $1.5 million.
Camp was perhaps the Cubs most effective reliever last season. After being a late Spring Training addition to the Cubs in 2012, Camp went on to appear in 80 games for the Cubs in 2012 while posting an ERA of 3.59. The 37 year old Camp likely could have found work elsewhere this winter, but his connection to Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio may have been one of the contributing factors to the reliever returning to the team in 2013.
Camp figures to be inserted in the same role as he was last season with the Cubs. That role being the primary right handed setup reliever out of the bullpen, as well as a compliment to left handed reliever James Russell. Camp could also be the Cubs’ closer in 2013. The Cubs will continue to try and trade closer Carlos Marmol before the start of Spring Training, if they succeed, their will be a vacancy at the team’s closer position. The Cubs could fill that vacancy by signing a veteran reliever, but there would be some logic to naming Camp the closer. The Cubs’ hope is that Camp can offer the same production that he had last season, and then trade him by the July 31 trade deadline. In order to increase Camp’s value, a a move to the closer’s role may ensure the Cubs’ success in being able to acquire a talented prospect for the veteran reliever. At the very least, Camp will provide a solid veteran presence in what is likely to be a young Cubs’ bullpen next season.