Jay Gibbons, who spent the past two seasons as a role player for the Dodgers, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Brewers.
Gibbons was a regular in the middle of the Orioles’ lineup from 2001-2007, but was named in the “Mitchell Report” and suspended for the beginning of 2008, getting released by the Orioles that spring despite still being owed more than $10 million.
He spent 2008 and 2009 in the minors, including a stint at Triple-A for the Brewers, and then successfully completed his comeback while hitting .269 with a .755 OPS in 142 plate appearances for the Dodgers during the past two seasons.
At age 34 he’s unlikely to crack the Opening Day roster, but could be a decent bench bat.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.