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Shawn Camp Balances Scale

By bullpenbrian at 11.21.2012 Leave a comment.

It seem Shawn Camp is returning the favor by re-signing with the Cubs for 1-year, $1.35M.

Given the solid season Camp had last year he likely would’ve received several offers later this winter, possibly from contenders and for more money, no less.

Either way, last season was all a weird twist of fate for Camp after the Mariners surprisingly released him just one week before Opening Day.

It left Camp down-and-out, unemployed and seemingly unwanted. It appeared every bit a raw-deal from a Seattle team that had no business cutting quality relievers.

But shortly thereafter the Cubs came calling offering Camp a 1-year major league deal. He would immediately join the bullpen with a fair shot to stick with the team.

It must have been a huge relief for Shawn…and I’m convinced it factored into Camp ultimately posting one of the best seasons of his 9-year career. What a turn of fortunes for both parties.

Camp not only tied for the major league lead in appearances (80), but was fifth in innings pitched for a reliever (77.2) and tabbed by Dale Sveum as one of the Cubs’ most valuable players in 2012.

With a strong season under his belt and once again a free agent, Camp might have viewed this offseason as an opportunity to better his baseball career.

After all, he’s 37, has never pitched in the postseason, only twice played on a winning team and nearly half of his career has been spent pitching for clubs eclipsing 100 or more losses in a season–four times to be exact.

Instead of testing the free agent market, however, Camp decided to come back to the Cubs, back to the team that rescued his career, and most importantly, back to a place where he’s both valued and respected.

It says a lot about Camp’s character. It shows his understanding and willingness to balance the scale even though it likely comes at the cost of fewer wins and fewer dollars.

We know all too well that’s usually not the path chosen by big league free agents. Something tells me the Cubs know as much, too. They see a value to Camp beyond his rubber-arm. His high character and professionalism sets a fine example for the inexperienced and youthful Cubs. 

One more year together seems fair for both sides. A quality player for the Cubs and a favor returned by Camp.

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