Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has been saying all winter that the free-agent market for corner outfielders is bleak.
That must be true because Melvin brought one out of retirement today.
The Brewers announced they have signed Gabe Kapler (above), an eight-year veteran who managed in Boston™s farm system in 2007 after announcing his retirement as an active player.
Kapler, a right-handed hitter, has played in 850 major-league games with Detroit, Texas, Colorado and Boston, batting .270 with 64 home runs and 302 RBI, with a .331 on-base percentage and .418 slugging percentage. He played in 72 games with the Red Sox in 2006, batting .254 with two home runs and 12 RBI.
Less than a month after Boston won the 2004 World Series, Kapler signed with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League. He struggled there and was placed on waivers in July, allowing him to rejoin the Red Sox midway through the ™05 season.
Kapler ruptured his right Achilles tendon late in September of that season “ oddly enough, running the bases on what turned out to be a home run by Tony Graffanino, who played in 2006-™07 for the Brewers before suffering a knee injury. That injury sidelined Kapler until June 2006.
Last season, Kapler managed Boston™s Class A Greenville (S.C.) team to a 58-81 record, 14th in the 16-team South Atlantic League.
After that managerial stint, Kapler announced his intention to play again in 2008. œI miss the battle, he said. œThe experience reawakened the competitor in me. I still need to be on the field as a player.
Kapler, 32, was not mentioned in last week’s Mitchell Report, nor in the suddenly unsealed Jason Grimsley affidavit. Surely Geronimo Berroa’s alleged use of steroids provides fuel for those who claim PED’s can’t turn someone into a baseball player.
Never let it be said the current Royals regime is afraid to go after top flight talent. After signing Jose Guillen to a multi-year deal (shortly before the enigmatic outfielder found himself suspended), Kansas City inked OF-turned-reliever Ron Mahay to a two-year pact.
Sorry, organized baseball. You’ve still not managed to rid yourself of Robert Fick.
Q: Why did Brian McNamee inject Roger Clemens with steroids in his buttocks?
A: To prove he had better aim than Shawn Estes.