Mat Gamel has fallen upon some bad luck this season.
A torn ACL ended his highly-coveted 2012 campaign, and the emergence of Corey Hart at first has all but assured Gamel's departure.
Although the 27-year-old was batting a mere .246 before his injury, Gamel is still an interesting trade candidate. He has considerable power and is capable of hitting 20-25 home runs in a full season.
He can also hit for a decent average with consistent playing time. In 2011 with Triple-A Nashville, the left-handed hitter posted a .310 average. His success hasn't translated over to the majors, but he has hardly had the chance to prove himself. He only saw action in 21 games before he tore his knee up.
I fully believe Gamel can be an All-Star in the big leagues if given the chance to play every day, and if his knee is fully healed. However, it might not be with the Crew.
The Brewers have found their future first baseman in Hart—depending on if they sign him to an extension. The brass will need to make that decision soon, as his contract is up at the end of the 2013 season.
Moving Gamel to the outfield is an option for Milwaukee, but their depth is already overwhelming. With Logan Schafer and Khris Davis making waves in the minors, there simply isn't any room for the once-promising prospect.
After Aramis Ramirez's contract expires, replacing him with Gamel could be a possibility. But he would almost be 30 by then, and his shoddy defense makes him more suited for first base.
Placing him on the bench and using him in spot starts and as a pinch-hitter isn't among consideration. Gamel would be less than thrilled, and his poor attitude would affect his performance. The Brewers would trade him before making him a bench player.
Besides Gamel, Milwaukee doesn't have much else to offer teams. He has become their greatest trade bait.
The Philadelphia Phillies may be interested in Gamel. If Ryan Howard's demise continues, the Phillies may be forced to give up on him, despite paying him a fortune. Gamel could be the next Howard with a little less power.
In return, Milwaukee may be asking for a third base prospect, as the Brewers have none in their minor-league system.
Through almost no fault of his own, Mat Gamel's time in Milwaukee may be over. His season-ending injury cost him his job.
Hopefully, Milwaukee can get someone promising in return for Gamel's service.
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