Jay Gibbons Signs with Brewers, Heads to Huntsville

(ST. LOUIS) -- Left-handed slugging outfielder Jay Gibbons, who belted 121 home runs for the Orioles from 2001-07, is now a Huntsville Star.

The veteran outfielder signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, and passed a physical in Huntsville, Tuesday afternoon, clearing the final obstacle on his road back to organized baseball.

Gibbons, who was released in March, had been playing for the Long Island Ducks in the independent Atlantic League, where he was hitting .280 with 5 home runs.

Gibbons' name appeared in last December's Mitchell Report and admitted to using a human growth hormone to help him recover from a wrist injury. He was forthright in his admission and wrote letters to the other 29 big league organizations, apologizing for his mistakes and saying he would play for free in the minors. He had no takers. The Orioles are paying him a total of $11.9 million for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Gibbons, who appeared as a pinch-hitter for the Stars in Tuesday's game against Carolina, will spend at least the next 10-14 days with Huntsville as a replacement for outfielder Michael Brantley, who aggravated an ankle injury and was placed on the disabled list. When Brantley returns, Gibbons is expected to get a promotion to Nashville.

Gibbons played in the Southern League in 2000 for the Tennessee Smokies and was among the league's batting leaders with a .321 average. Uniquely, he had three .277 seasons with the Orioles -- 2003, 2005, and 2006.

Courtesy www.mlb.com and The Baltimore Sun