Padres outfielder Ben Gamel rejected an outright assignment in favor of free agency after clearing waivers, per his transaction log at MLB.com. He’s now able to sign with any club, though he wouldn’t be postseason-eligible with a new team and would be a free agent again once the season wraps up, given his six-plus years of service time.
Gamel, 31, appeared in just six games with the Padres before being designated for assignment. He went 3-for-15 with a double in that tiny sample but has posted a combined .286/.402/.498 line in 332 plate appearances between the Triple-A affiliates for the Rays and Padres in 2023.
His brief big league action this year marked the eighth season in which the veteran Gamel has seen time in the Majors. He’s previously suited up for the Mariners, Pirates, Brewers, Guardians and Yankees as well, logging a career .252/.332/.384 slash with 40 homers, 108 doubles, 15 triples and 21 stolen bases in 2221 plate appearances. Gamel is light on power but also boasts a keen eye at the plate (career 10.1% walk rate). He’s played all three outfield positions and (much more briefly) first base, though the bulk of his time in the Majors has been spent as a left fielder.
If he doesn’t sign somewhere between now and season’s end, Gamel will likely draw interest in minor league free agency over the winter, as he did last offseason before ultimately signing a minor league pact with the Rays. The left-handed-hitting Gamel has minimal platoon splits in the big leagues and is a career .302/.377/.460 hitter in 1644 Triple-A plate appearances, so he’s a nice depth option to have on hand, at the very least.