The Reds' signing of outfielder Jonny Gomes has been one of the best minor league deals of the year, up there with Garrett Jones, Ryan Roberts, Kevin Correia, and Juan Uribe. Gomes, 29 in November, has a .279/.349/.558 line with 18 home runs in 261 plate appearances.
Gomes feels he's proven that he's more than a platoon player, and John Fay's article for the Cincinnati Enquirer addresses his future. Given his service time (less than five years), Gomes is arbitration-eligible after the season. The Reds simply have to tender him a contract, and he's theirs for 2010 whether he likes it or not. Fay's article seems to imply that the Reds might non-tender Gomes, which would be odd (but not unprecedented).
And then there's Gomes telling Fay he'd accept arbitration if the Reds offer, which makes even less sense. If the Reds tender him a contract, Gomes' only say in it is regarding his 2010 salary. If the two parties can't find common ground, there would be an arbitration hearing.