Tribe Inks Gamel, Hamilton To Minors Deals (www.mlb.com)

CLEVELAND — The Tribe took its first step toward bolstering its outfield by

Eddie Rosario earlier this month to a one-year, $8 million contract. Now, the team is hoping it has found more options to strengthen its outfield.

On Thursday, the Tribe announced that it signed outfielder Ben Gamel to a Minor League deal with a non-roster invitation to big league Spring Training. On Monday, the club announced that it had agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Billy Hamilton.

For an outfield group that has struggled mightily over the past two years, both signings are low-risk moves that could result in a reward. Gamel has played in parts of five big league seasons with the Yankees, Mariners and Brewers. In the past two seasons with Milwaukee, Gamel owned a .245 average with a .712 OPS after boasting a .727 OPS in three years with Seattle.

Gamel could be an option for a spot in either corner for the Tribe. He has played 396 games in the field over his five-year career, with 206 appearances in left field and 169 appearances in right. He has also played 38 games in center field and two at first base.

Hamilton spent the first six years of his career with the Reds before splitting the last two seasons between the Royals, Braves, Mets and Cubs. With Cincinnati, Hamilton slashed .245/.298/.333 with 21 homers, 161 RBIs and 277 stolen bases in 690 games.

The center fielder got off to a slow start in 2020, hitting a mere .045 with a .129 OPS in 17 games with the Mets. He was designated for assignment on Sept. 4 and was claimed by the Cubs on Sept. 7. Hamilton ended the year on a strong note, batting .300 with a .964 OPS in 14 games with Chicago. Though he may not be the offensive answer the club is looking for, he certainly will bring above-average speed on the bases, as Statcast has his sprint speed from 2019 ranked in the 97th percentile.

Hamilton and Gamel join DJ Johnson, Bryan Shaw and Mike Freeman as the Tribe’s Minor League signings with non-roster invitations to Spring Training.

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