Jay Gibbons signs minor-league contract with Brewers

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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.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.