The Brewers are declining their $2.55M club option on outfielder Ben Gamel, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). The 28-year-old remains eligible for arbitration, however, having accrued just three-plus years of MLB service. Arbitration figures are harder than ever to pin down this offseason thanks to the shortened season, but MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects Gamel to earn between $1.7M and $2.1M if tendered a contract.
It’s possible the Brewers’ internal metrics also pegged Gamel for a likely lower arbitration salary than the value of the option. In that case, there’d be little reason for the team not to decline the option, even if they plan on keeping him in the fold.
Gamel hit a serviceable but hardly spectacular .237/.315/.404 with three home runs over 127 plate appearances in 2020. That’s in line with his production over the course of his career. The left-handed hitter is probably best suited in a corner, but he’s capable of playing center field if need be.
Milwaukee already declined their half of Ryan Braun’s $15M mutual option Thursday, making him a free agent. They’ll also have to decide on options for Jedd Gyorko and Eric Sogard, each of whom would hit the open market if their option were declined.