Red Sox designate OF Mike Cameron for assignment

Posted June 30, 2011, at 6:12 p.m.
Last modified June 30, 2011, at 10:07 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — The Boston Red Sox designated outfielder Mike Cameron for assignment and recalled infielder Yamaico Navarro from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Navarro was active for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Also, Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was out of the lineup with a sore left foot. Youkilis fouled a ball off it in Wednesday night’s game. General manager Theo Epstein said Youkilis’ X-rays were negative.

Youkilis said he woke up feeling worse this morning than after the initial hit.

“I didn’t think it’d be anywhere near what it is today,” he said.

Cameron played in 33 games with the Red Sox this year, and was batting only .149 with three home runs and nine RBIs. Cameron is a .249 career hitter with 272 homers, 950 RBIs and 296 stolen bases over 17 seasons with the White Sox (1995-98), Reds (1999), Mariners (2000-03), Mets (2004-05), Padres (2006-07), Brewers (2008-09) and Red Sox (2010-11).

Boston has 10 days to trade or release Cameron.

“We’ve been scratching our heads with Mike for a little while,” Epstein said. “And I’ll take the hit on this one. He was still a productive player when we got him, but maybe with age, he just didn’t recover from injury as well. It was tough for him to overcome the injuries and then with the reduced role, it was a bit of a double whammy for him with us. He’s used to playing everyday.”

The 23-year-old Navarro hit .258 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 34 games with the PawSox this year. He made his major league debut with Boston last August and played in 20 games. He hit .143 with five RBIs.

“It’s not ideal,” Epstein said. “We would have liked him to have some more seasoning, but given the state we’re in, we think he can help us right now.”

Cameron is a one-time All-Star, and a three-time Gold Glove winner, who tied a major league record on May 2, 2002 when he hit four home runs in one game, becoming only the 15th player in history to do so.

“There are reasons to still believe in Mike Cameron. He has a great frame and is in remarkable shape. It just didn’t work out,” Epstein said. “We still think very highly of him as a person and a player. And we really felt good about him coming into the year. But it didn’t work out, and now we’re just trying to find a way to make it work out.”

Epstein said that he talked to some teams regarding a trade before the designation, and will continue to do so.

“He took it like you’d expect,” Epstein said. “He’s a real professional and he knows we were in a tough spot.”

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