Jonny Gomes has already set career highs in games (126), plate appearances (482), runs (63), hits (112), doubles (22) and RBI (77). Reds manager Dusty Baker has been calling on Gomes more than ever and the left fielder has seen his slash line dip, possibly because he's facing more right-handed pitching than usual. Gomes' .262/.328/.436 line is about average, but his power has dropped off this year, especially in the second half.
The Reds can retain him for $1.75MM in 2011 or buy him out for $200K. They don't have the option of turning the option down and trying to re-sign him more cheaply through arbitration; Cincinnati must release the 29-year-old if they turn his option down. The Reds could sign Gomes after releasing him, but all 30 teams would be able to make bids, too.
Despite Gomes' struggles against right-handed pitching and less-than-brilliant defense (he posted negative UZRs every year from 2005-10), the Reds will likely have some interest in retaining him for a net cost of $1.55MM. However, they non-tendered him last winter after a season in which he hit 20 homers and posted an .879 OPS, so history suggests they aren't afraid of letting Gomes hit the open market. What do you think the Reds will do? Click here to take the survey and here to view the results.