The Pirates and outfielder Ben Gamel avoided arbitration on Monday by agreeing to a one-year $1.8M contract for 2022, according to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. Gamel, who was arbitration-eligible for the third and final time, can earn an additional $200K in incentives – $100K each for 450 and 550 plate appearances.
The Pirates claimed Gamel off waivers from Cleveland in May. In 111 games with Pittsburgh, Gamel slashed .255/.352/.399 (101 wRC+) with 17 doubles, three triples and eight home runs. The 29-year-old played all three outfield positions for the Pirates – mostly in left field, and had four appearances at first base.
Gamel will be entering his seventh Major League season in 2022 having also spent time with the Yankees, Mariners, Brewers and Cleveland. For his career, Gamel has hit .258 with a .723 OPS (97 wRC+).
Gamel has the inside track to one of the corner outfield spots for the Pirates in 2022, flanking Bryan Reynolds who will likely man center field. The candidates for the open outfield spot include Anthony Alford, Greg Allen, Cole Tucker and others.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected Gamel to earn $2.9M in arbitration, so it seems he and the Pirates cut a deal to ensure Gamel had a roster spot in 2022 with the tender/non-tender deadline looming. The Pirates now have seven arbitration-eligible players remaining.