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Braves sign Mat Gamel

Dec 13, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT

mat gamel getty Getty Images

Mat Gamel, who was a top prospect and the heir apparent at first base for the Brewers before multiple knee surgeries derailed his career, has signed a minor-league contract with the Braves.

Atlanta isn’t a great landing spot for Gamel because the Braves have Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson locked into corner infield jobs, although perhaps given his injury history a part-time bench role is the best plan anyway.

Gamel has logged just 269 total plate appearances in the majors through age 27, but has hit .301 with 53 homers and an .886 OPS in 290 games at Triple-A, including very good numbers there this year. He’s definitely someone to root for.

  1. hittfamily - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Great pickup. I’d have been rooting for the Rays to pick him up, but I thought the Cubs grabbed him when the Brewers DFA’d him.

    I saw him in AAA. The guy had some thunder coming off that bat. He was a top prospect. 270 PA over a 4 year period was never enough to know definitively if he could translate the AAA success to the big leagues.

  2. davidbrentfan - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I hope he recovers fully and has a good MLB career.

  3. nymets4ever - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Hey Sandy why didn’t you get in on this?? It’s not like our first base situation is completely in flux or anything.

  4. karlkolchak - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Guess Mat wasn’t ready to hang up the ol’ mit.

  5. bigdinla - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Hope he can be this years Gattis !

  6. brewcitybummer - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Braves are probably a good organization for him in spite of the lack of a clear opportunity. I think he could still have a nice run at some point in the bigs as a useful bench bat and quality fill in.

  7. leylandshospicenurse - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    As a big braves fan, I am very happy about this signing. He will make a great bench bat if he is healthy and if there is an injury we have a backup for 1B and 3B without having to dump a large load of cash for a guy like Chavez

  8. yahmule - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    He could see more playing time than people expect when Chris Johnson’s .394 BABIP normalizes and he stops delivering that empty batting average and nothing else.

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