The Brewers needed to clear some space on the 40-man roster, and they began the process by placing both Mat Gamel and Taylor Green on waivers. Green cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville, but the Chicago Cubs claimed Gamel and will place him on their 40-man roster, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
It was a bit of a surprise to Doug Melvin that the Cubs claimed Gamel:
I asked general manager Doug Melvin if he was surprised that the Cubs claimed Gamel, he said, “A little bit, just because he hadn’t played in almost two years. I’ve always said that this game will surprise you at times. The waiver price is only $20,000 so for some teams it’s worth taking a shot.”
Melvin said injuries were the primary reason that Gamel and Green were placed on waivers.
“We didn’t want to take the chance with Gamel that he’d have to go back on the DL again,” said Melvin.
Gamel drew a $492,000 salary this year without playing a game. Green was paid $491,000.
I’m not surprised someone claimed Gamel — as Melvin said, it doesn’t cost much — but I’m a little surprised the Cubs were the team to make the claim. With Anthony Rizzo entrenched at first base, it doesn’t seem Gamel has a position. That is, unless the Cubs (1) only view him as a bench player, or (2) want to experiment with him at third base or a corner outfield position.
When engaging in a full-scale rebuilding project, though, I suppose there’s something to be said for acquiring talent, no matter the position. Gamel is only two years removed from hitting .310/.372/.540 with 28 home runs in Triple-A. For a team without aspirations to contend in 2014, why not give him a shot and see if he has anything left in the tank?