Padres get Cameron from Mets
Gold Glove outfielder comes to Friars in exchange for Nady
Returning to the scene of the accident as a San Diego Padre about to make PETCO Park his spacious new home, Mike Cameron couldn't miss the strange twist of fate presented by the baseball gods."Maybe it's a test from a higher power to come back to the same place," Cameron said, recalling a violent Aug. 11 collision with Mets teammate Carlos Beltran that ended his 2005 season six weeks prematurely. "I guess the good Lord wants me to get rid of my fears. "Everything's going to be all right." If Cameron patrols center field and its gaps the way the Padres believe he can, there's a fine chance things will be more than all right at PETCO Park in 2006. In a swap of proven goods for promise, Cameron is changing coasts, moving from New York to San Diego in exchange for Xavier Nady. Satisfied after a battery of tests that Cameron has no lingering vision problems from his collision with Beltran in right-center, the Padres signed off on a deal that brings them a Gold Glove center fielder with power and speed at the expense of an outfielder/first baseman with tremendous raw power and enticing tools. Cameron, who turns 33 on Jan. 8, suffered two broken cheekbones, a broken orbital socket and a broken nose in the collision. Dr. Jose Quiceno of Scripps Clinic gave the Padres a thumbs up after putting the athlete through what Padres general manager Kevin Towers called a "very thorough physical" that he "passed with flying colors" on Friday. "I'm pretty much as close to 100 percent as you can get," said Cameron, claiming his vision actually has improved since the collision to 20/15. "I'll be ready in two weeks if they need me to play. "I didn't have to rehab anything. My limbs are fine. It was all facial injuries. I had to lose my beauty for three months." Cameron said he's delighted to end the Padres' quest for a center fielder to cover the vast gaps at PETCO Park and serve as an elixir to the pitching staff while entertaining fans with his high-energy performance.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.