We at MLB Trade Rumors extend our condolences to the friends and family of Oscar Gamble, as the former outfielder passed away earlier today at age 68. Gamble played for seven teams over a career that stretched from 1969 to 1985, hitting .265/.356/.454 with an even 200 home runs over 5197 plate appearances. Beyond just his impact at the plate, Gamble is also remembered as one of the most photogenic players of all time thanks to his legendary afro, which made him a favorite amongst fans and baseball card collectors for years after his playing days concluded.
Some items from around the baseball world…
- The Blue Jays and Brett Anderson have “some mutual interest” in a reunion, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports, though Toronto is still considering other starting pitching options ahead of the veteran southpaw. Anderson signed a minor league pact with the Jays last summer after he was let go by the Cubs, and ended up tossing 33 1/3 innings for Toronto over seven starts, posting a 5.13 ERA, 5.9 K/9 and 2.44 K/BB rate. Nicholson-Smith’s piece contains several other available pitchers that could be fits for the Jays as they look for rotation depth.
- In another piece from Nicholson-Smith, he writes that the Blue Jays are still looking for catching help, most likely a veteran on a minor league deal that can compete with Luke Maile for the backup job behind Russell Martin. Further help could come from within the organization, however, as some evaluators feel prospects Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire could be ready for big league promotions by midseason.
- Longtime player, manager, and coach Davey Lopes is retiring, he announced to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson on Ladson’s “Newsmakers” podcast. Lopes, 72, worked as the Nationals’ first base coach for the last two seasons, his latest stop in a 23-year coaching career that also included stints with the Orioles, Padres, Phillies, and Dodgers. Lopes managed the Brewers from 2000-02, and of course he enjoyed an outstanding 17-year playing career from 1972-87, most notably appearing in four All-Star Games for the Dodgers.
- There have been whispers that the stalled free agent market would lead to a union-sponsored training camp for players who remain unsigned as Spring Training begins, though The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link) hears otherwise. Since most players already have their own training regimens in place during the offseason, there is less need for a stand-alone camp.