2013 Winter Meetings: Would Mat Gamel be worth it to the Marlins?

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

With the Marlins pursuing a third baseman to fill out their improved infield, Fish Stripes' Dakota Schmidt takes a look at the history of Mat Gamel and looks at his possible role with the team.

The process of building from the ground up when you have limited resources can be an extremely excruciating to difficult task for any MLB team. The Miami Marlins fit into that aforementioned description perfectly as a team that went into the offseason coming off a 100 loss season with a $35-40 million dollar budget.

Despite that clear disadvantage, the Marlins have had an extremely solid start to their 2013 offseason especially when it comes to rebuilding their infield. With the additions of Garrett Jones, Rafael Furcal and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Miami already has improved their infield tenfold over the 2013 season but there's still a single area of concern that the team is apparently pursuing. As previously mentioned, Miami is currently targeting Baltimore's Danny Valencia, Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison and former Brewer prospect Mat Gamel who's currently a free agent.

While Valencia and Harrison remain potential trade targets as the Marlins look to deal Logan Morrison, Gamel remains the lone player who would need to be signed to become a member of Miami. Out of the three potential targets, Gamel is probably the least appealing of the three which is kind of weird considering his past status as one of the top prospects in the league during the late-2000's.

As a life-time Brewers fan, the potential and promise that fans had about Gamel was near the echelon of Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. Perhaps a portion of the blame could be put on the likes of Braun, Fielder, J.J Hardy, Corey Hart or Rickie Weeks as that era of Brewer prospects were perhaps way too huge of a plateau to overcome. While those players went on to become extremely successful big league players, Gamel has always stayed in the purgatory between Triple-A and MLB.

Perhaps some of the blame could be placed on the fact that he's faced constant injuries since his days as a top prospect. Whenever Gamel had the opportunity to showcase himself on the big league stage, he went down with one of many different injuries that continued to halt his progress towards a potential role as an MLB starter. That pattern was clearly showcased last season as he went down with a torn ACL just weeks before he was slated to be Milwaukee's starting 1st baseman after a season-ending injury to Corey Hart.

The promising prospect of the late-2000's is now a 29 year old, injury-ridden player who's on the verge of having his baseball dreams vanish before he really had an opportunity to showcase his potentially solid offensive skills. While the Marlins continue to build towards a potential playoff team, a low-risk, high-reward player like Gamel could potentially pay off in the end. While I wouldn't pencil him in to start at 3rd base, Gamel could turn into a solid bench hitter with a good amount of pop in his bat. Despite his horrendous defensive ability and past injury history, I still think Gamel has some value as a Marlin.

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