With or without Joe Girardi, the Cubs are going to reshape their team this winter.
So while Girardi Watch continues – waiting to see if the Yankees manager would actually leave New York – the Cubs quietly claimed Mat Gamel off waivers on Thursday from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gamel had been viewed as a potential replacement for Prince Fielder when the first baseman signed a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers in January 2012. But Gamel only made it 21 games into his season, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He tore it again this year at the beginning of spring training, wiping out another season.
Gamel, 28, has gotten only 240 at-bats across parts of five seasons in the big leagues, hitting .229 with six homers and 29 RBI in 106 games. If healthy, he could offer versatility as a first baseman, third baseman and outfielder.
Across the years, Gamel had appeared on Baseball America’s lists of the top prospects in the Milwaukee organization. In his last full season (2011), he hit .310 with 28 homers and 96 RBI in 128 games at Triple-A Nashville.