Two new possibilities for center field:
1. Jeromy Burnitz, who is fielding offers from a few other teams, and
2. Mike Cameron, who apparently wants out of New York so he can play CF.
I think you know who I'm going to say we should go after.
Rather than looking at Burnitz's and Cameron's overall stats, let's look at their road stats (since Burnitz plays his home games at Coors, an insane hitter's park, and Cameron at Shea, a pitcher's park)
Burnitz, road, 2004: .244 / .327 / .448 (775 OPS), 13 HR, 29 BB in 270 AB.
Cameron, road, 2004: .234 / .329 / .512 (841 OPS), 19 HR, 31 BB in 252 AB.
Cameron is also one of the best (perhaps the best) defensive CF in the game (career Range Factor of 2.74 vs. 236 league average) and Burnitz is...not (career CF Range Factor of 1.77 vs. league average of 2.24).
Cameron is 32, makes 7 million in 2005 and 2006, while Burnitz is 35, and not signed, so we could conceivably get him for less (maybe 2/6?) I still say we go after Cameron, because of his tremendous defense and underrated offense, and he's younger. We'd have him for two years, at which point we should have a younger OF ready to go (Taveras or Scott). The more I think about it, the more I like it: trade for Mike Cameron! The Mets need to free up payroll to go after Delgado, so they might let him go for surprisingly little. They need bullpen help or maybe a 4th OF...maybe Willy Taveras or Luke Scott plus Mike Burns or something?
If we do (and I hope we do) get Cameron, we could bat him 2nd, although he does strike out a lot. I'm not sure who we should bat leadoff against RHP; it'll probably be Biggio, anyway. I also have a sickening hunch that Garner will bat Everett 2nd despite his weak OBP, so our lineup would most likely be
That has the potential to be an excellent 3-7, at least.
While I'm on the subject of Garner, I think he's an excellent motivator, but I wish he would think 'outside the box' a little more. Case in point: Berkman's injury gives us an excellent opportunity to see how Chris Burke can do at 2nd. We could start Biggio in LF until Berkman returns, and then decide if Biggio or Burke should start and 2nd. However, Garner has already stated he won't move Biggio around at all, so we're more likely to see Orlando Palmeiro start the season in RF. Ugh. You've gotta be creative to be a succesful manager these days.
So, anyway, Mike Cameron. Do it.
Oh, I almost forgot, we re-signed Mike Lamb to a 1 year, 1.3 million dollar deal, with a possible 200K more based on plate appearances. Garner has said he wants to get Lamb into the lineup more, which I guess is ok, though I'd rather see him traded somewhere, since I can't really see him having a better year than he did in '04. Not a bad signing though.