Mat Gamel Rumors
The Braves have released utilityman Mat Gamel, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Gamel, who was trying to work back from a pair of ACL surgeries, apparently reinjured his knee last week during personal workouts.
Once a highly-regarded prospect, the 28-year-old hooked on with Atlanta when his career never took off in Milwaukee. He has consistently hammered pitching in the upper minors, but never yet had the chance to be a big league regular. Set to become the Brewers first baseman last year, Gamel instead suffered his second ACL tear and missed the year.
Gamel, 26, didn't play in 2013 after tearing his ACL for a second conseutive season. Formerly rated as one of the game's top prospects (Baseball America had him No. 34 in all of baseball prior to the 2009 season), Gamel has posted a .229/.305/.367 batting line in 269 Major League plate appearances.
He's absolutely feasted on Triple-A pitching in a larger sample, slashing .301/.374/.512 with 53 home runs in 1247 plate appearances. Gamel looked to be in line to replace the injured Corey Hart at Milwaukee's everyday first baseman in 2013 before his second ACL tear. The Jet Sports client has yet to receive an everyday opportunity at the Major League level, though he batted a solid .242/.338/.422 in 148 Major League plate appearances as a 23-year-old in 2009.
The Marlins officially announced their signing of Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a three-year deal earlier today at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, and they reportedly finalized a two-year deal with recent non-tender Garrett Jones as well. The Fish are far from finished, however, as they're reportedly nearing a trade of first baseman Logan Morrison as well. More Fish-centric links for your Monday evenings...
- The Marlins are looking for right-handed bats, but they're not pursuing Mike Morse, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- Frisaro also tweets that the Marlins would like to sign or trade for a veteran reliever to add to their relief corps.
- The decision to non-tender right-hander Ryan Webb was strictly about allocation of the team's resources, GM Michael Hill told MLBTR's Tim Dierkes, who is on-site in Orlando (Twitter link).
- Hill also told Tim that third base is currently the team's top priority (Twitter link).
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel elaborates on that third base search, noting that the Marlins are interested in former Brewers top prospect and Jacksonville, Fla. native Mat Gamel. Gamel was recently non-tendered by the Cubs recently.
- Within that same piece, Rodriguez notes that the Marlins have told teams they're open to taking a right-handed or left-handed hitting third baseman in trades. Two names of interest are Miami alum Danny Valencia (currently with the Orioles) and Josh Harrison of the Pirates.
Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.
- The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP. Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
- The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
- The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
- The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com.
- The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
- The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
- The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
- The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
- The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.
The Cubs have claimed Mat Gamel off waivers from the Brewers, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). The 28-year-old has seen a once-promising big league career get derailed by injuries and was waived by the Brewers earlier in the week.
Gamel was supposed to fill the void left by Corey Hart early in the 2013 campaign, but a torn ACL squashed what would have been a terrific opportunity for the 28-year-old. Hart didn't play a came this season, meaning that Gamel could have had a full season's worth of at-bats to prove himself for the first time in his career. Instead, Gamel will instead carry a career batting line of .229/.305/.367 to his former division rivals.
Gamel twice ranked among Baseball America's Top 100 prospects and appeared on BA's list of Top 10 Brewers prospects on four separate occasions. He's dominated Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .301/.374/.512 batting line and could get a look at third base in Spring Training, as Anthony Rizzo is entrenched as the Cubs' first baseman for the foreseeable future.
Gamel is technically eligible for arbitration this offseason due to spending the bulk of the 2012-13 seasons on the Major League 60-day disabled list. However, his inability to take the field due to injuries in each of the past two seasons should keep his salary just north of $500K, creating little risk for the Cubs should they wish to tender him a contract.
Gamel was set to fill in the gap at first base after Corey Hart was lost to knee surgery before he suffered a torn ACL. Gamel, who last played a regular season game in 2012, would have been eligible for arbitration if he remained on the 40-man roster. The 28-year-old was once considered to be a top prospect in the Brewers' system but he has never managed to put it together at the big league level. In parts of five big league seasons, Gamel owns a .229/.305/.367 slash line.
Green was supposed to supplant Gamel at first, but he wound up suffering a left hip injury later in the spring and had to undergo surgery. McCalvy notes that the 27-year-old could still be attractive to the Brewers on a minor league deal because he can play first and third base. Even though Corey Hart wants to return to Milwaukee, the first base position is wide open. Meanwhile, third baseman Aramis Ramirez is heading into the final year of his contract.
A look at the Central divisions..
- There are six or seven teams in the eastern or central divisions to which Alfonso Soriano would accept a trade, writes Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. The long-time Cubs outfielder made it clear last summer that he would not have accepted a potential trade to the Giants. Soriano told reporters that the Cubs know which teams he'd prefer, but stated multiple times that his first priority is to win in Chicago.
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke announced today that Mat Gamel, who was sidelined for the final five months of the 2012 season with a torn ACL, will miss all of the 2013 season, writes Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. The Brewers were already thin at first base thanks to Corey Hart's injury. They plan to cover with in-house options, but GM Doug Melvin will look for outside options as well. McCalvy suggests (on Twitter) that they could consider the recently DFA'd Mike Carp and Daric Barton of the A's.
- Craig Fehrman of Cincinnati Magazine profiled Aroldis Chapman and the journey that brought the left-hander to the Reds. The piece includes Chapman's daring move to defect from Cuba and the unique events that led him to changing representation while auditioning for teams.
- The Twins are not among the clubs that have expressed interest in Mark Prior, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). Prior is working on strengthening his shoulder in an attempt to hook on with a team in spring training.
Today, the Brewers are hosting Brewers On Deck, their annual winter fan festival. Here's the news being made at the event:
- Owner Mark Attanasio says there's always a chance the Brewers could enter the bidding for free agent starter Kyle Lohse, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "It’s a function of size of contract, length of contract." Attanasio said. "Kyle had a phenomenal two seasons the last two seasons. We just have to see if that fits in our overall scheme." Attanasio refused to specifically say if the team has spoken with Scott Boras, Lohse's agent.
- Manager Ron Roenicke indicated Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are locks for the starting rotation leaving Mike Fiers, Wily Peralta, Mark Rogers, and Chris Narveson vying for the other three spots, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Roenicke questioned whether Narveson, who underwent rotator cuff surgery last May on his throwing shoulder, will be ready for camp; but, assistant GM Gord Ash said everything is great with the left-hander and he is not behind schedule, reports Haudricourt.
- Roenicke touted the team’s rotation depth, arguing the five starters at the beginning of the season don’t have to be the same five at the end, writes McCalvy. Roenicke referred to options like recently signed free agent reliever Tom Gorzelanny, who has experience as a starter, and prospects Tyler Thornburg and Hiram Burgos.
- Earlier today, we learned the Brewers are seeking first basemen in light of Corey Hart's knee surgery on Friday, which will force him to miss the first two months of the season. Mat Gamel, Hart's replacement, himself underwent knee surgery last May. Assistant GM Gord Ash said Gamel was examined today and "he is ready to go," Haudricourt tweeted.
- Melvin did say he is talking to a couple of free agent infielders, reports McCalvy on Twitter. Haudricourt opines it sounds like shortstop Alex Gonzalez is still in play (Twitter link). Gonzalez played 24 games for the Brewers in 2012 before his season was cut short by knee surgery.
- The Brewers will lose the only catchers on their 40-man roster, Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado, to the World Baseball Classic. Haudricourt stumped Roenicke when he asked the manager about the catching depth chart. "Don't ask me that question because I don't know," said Roenicke. "I want a guy that's going to be with us to be working with these (pitchers), to get them locked in. We're not going to have our two guys there talking to them all the time. So it's going to be difficult. There isn't (an obvious No. 3 catcher)." The Brewers will have five non-roster catchers in camp who have a combined six games of big league experience.
- The Mets have “pretty much stopped pursuing” left-handed hitting outfielders, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. The Mets had been linked to free agents such as Raul Ibanez, Kosuke Fukudome and Johnny Damon, but it now appears that they’ll take a wait-and-see approach.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that the team isn’t any closer to an extension with Brandon Phillips. The GM said the sides haven’t had the chance to talk and hope to discuss a deal within a few weeks.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin told ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that he is committed to giving Mat Gamel a shot at developing into a Major League regular in 2012.
- Assistant GM Thad Levine acknowledged the Rangers could go to a hearing with one or more of their arbitration eligible players, ESPNDallas’ Richard Durrett reports. Andrus recently agreed to terms on a three-year extension, but Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz remain unsigned, as MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker shows.
- Nationals media relations manager Bill Gluvna resigned and took a marketing and public relations job with the Boras Corporation, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs presented ten of the best offseason moves, and Hiroki Kuroda, Edwin Jackson and Carlos Beltran all made appearances on the list.
- Dodgers assistant GM Logan White discussed Zach Lee, Kershaw, Nathan Eovaldi and drafting young pitchers with David Laurila of FanGraphs.
GM Doug Melvin confirmed this evening that the Brewers won’t bid on free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. Here are more details on the Brewers, who agreed to terms with Aramis Ramirez and obtained Jose Veras for Casey McGehee today...
- The Brewers have already committed more than expected to the 2012 payroll, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). "We've stretched it well beyond where we wanted to go," Melvin said.
- The Brewers will proceed with Mat Gamel at first base and they also intend to give infield prospect Taylor Green a chance to make a contribution in the Major Leagues in 2012, Haudricourt reports (Twitter links). The Brewers won’t sign a prominent free agent first baseman this offseason.
- Melvin declined to comment on the possibility that Ryan Braun will miss 50 games in 2012, Haudricourt notes. The 2011 NL MVP tested positive for a banned substance and may face a lengthy suspension.
- Ramirez is a reasonable solution for the Brewers, but they'll likely need more to repeat as division champions in 2012, ESPN.com's Keith Law writes.