Gale enters spring training as one of the top candidates to be Austin Hedges' backup in 2018, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.

Hedges is the clear first option at manager Andy Green's disposal, but the backup situation is much more up in the air. Gale's primary competition for the role is Raffy Lopez, a 30-year-old who belted 20 homers across three levels with the Blue Jays organization last season. Gale doesn't possess the same pop as Lopez, but he does have years of experience working with the Padres' minor-league pitchers and coaching staff. A strong spring showing could certainly put Gale at the top of the heap, although he'll need to show that he can make better contact against major-league pitching than he has in the past, with just two hits over 20 at-bats.

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