Chicago Cubs beat writer Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reported early this afternoon that the organization claimed Mat Gamel off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gamel, 28, suffered a series of injuries that derailed his once-promising career with Milwaukee, leading to his being waived by the Brewers earlier this week.
Gamel was supposed to play a major role in the 2013 Brewers’ plans following the loss of Corey Hart, but instead a torn ACL sidelined him for the year. Gamel has essentially played like a AAAA player during his young career. He has a career line of .229/.305/.367 in the big leagues – a stark contrast to his .304/.374/.512 like against Triple-A pitchers. Gamel could serve as an option at third base for Chicago next spring; despite his experience at first base, that position is locked down by Anthony Rizzo.
MLB Trade Rumors writer Steve Adams projects that due to his significant missed time because of injuries, Gamel shouldn’t fetch a deal much higher than $500,000, which minimizes the risk for the Cubs in taking a chance on him.
The former Baseball America Top 100 prospect saw his best performance at the big league level in 2009, when he appeared in 61 games for Milwaukee, hitting .242 (31/128) with five home runs and 20 RBIs while manning the hot corner defensively.
Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena head into the offseason as the likely starters at third base for Chicago in 2014. Former Rangers prospect Mike Olt could make a run at the spot if he returns to form following a very disappointing 2013 campaign in the minor leagues.