3:20pm: Gamel will make a salary of $1.2MM in the majors or $35K per month at Triple-A, per Joel Sherman of The New York Post.
11:55am: The Mets have signed veteran outfielder Ben Gamel to a minor league contract, per a team announcement. The Wasserman client will be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee during spring training.
It’s the latest in a lengthy series of minor league deals and waiver claims of veteran depth options for the Mets this winter. The 31-year-old Gamel has appeared in eight big league seasons, spending the majority of his time with the Mariners and Pirates. He’s a career .252/.332/.384 hitter with strong plate discipline but minimal power. Gamel has walked in 10.1% of his career plate appearances, including an 11.8% clip since 2021 (838 trips to the plate). He’s never topped 11 homers in a season, however, and his career .131 ISO (slugging minus batting average) is well shy of average.
Defensively, Gamel has played all three outfield positions in the big leagues, but he’s best suited for left field work. Between the majors and minors, he’s played more than 2600 innings in center, but he’s only appeared at the position for one inning over the past two seasons. He’s also appeared sparingly at first base, giving him a bit of extra versatility.
There’s no immediate path to a roster spot for Gamel, as the Mets have the trio of Brandon Nimmo, Harrison Bader and Starling Marte slated to handle regular work, plus outfielders DJ Stewart and Tyrone Taylor on the 40-man roster. Gamel seems likely to join Trayce Thompson as a depth option in Triple-A Syracuse, where he’ll be the most experienced outfielder. That could make him the first man up in the event of an injury that creates a need for either an extra outfielder or a left-handed bat off the bench.