Pittsburgh Pirates: Should Ben Gamel be Designated for Assignment?

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a somewhat of a surprise move on Monday, designating a veteran player for assignment.  Should they cut another?

Yesterday was a weird day for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The team moved on from veteran infielder Michael Chavis by designating him for assignment.  Chavis has been a regular in the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup this season and has contributed 16 home runs.  However, his on-base percentage was under .280 and in the end, had below-average numbers against left-handed pitching.

Chavis stood out for the Bucs at times, but other younger players have taken over the playing time in the infield.  Plus, the team picked up former Yankee standout Miguel Andujar, who has a little more upside than Chavis.  Cutting Chavis also cleared a 40-man roster spot, which was quickly filled by Andujar.

The Pittsburgh Pirates should consider doing the same thing with veteran outfielder Ben Gamel.  Gamel, like Chavis, has stood out for his veteran attitude and play.  He has had some good moments, hustle plays, and provided valuable outfield flexibility.

However, he also has only posted a .233 batting average and has played about league-average defense at the outfield positions. On top of that, no team made a deal for him at the Trade Deadline.  There were plenty of teams looking for outfield depth, so it was telling that there was not much of a market for the veteran.

The Pittsburgh Pirates should look to move on from Ben Gamel as soon as possible. As they did with Chavis earlier this week.  He is taking up at-bats from younger players.  Yes, he might be valuable as a mentor, but there is plenty of time to add that element this offseason.

Moving on from Gamel would give a roster spot to either outfielder Travis Swaggerty or utility player Tucapita Marcano.  Both are considered to be two of the teams’ better remaining offensive prospects in Triple-A.  Plus, moving Gamel off the 40-man roster will allow the Bucs to make another 40-man roster move heading into the offseason.