Jonny Gomes’ 2011 Option

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.


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23 Comments on "Jonny Gomes’ 2011 Option"


bbxxj
4 years 11 months ago

I would lean toward picking up the option. He still has value against lefties with a .285/.386/.474/.860 vsLHP and they can protect him against tougher righties that might give him problems with Laynce Nix who has OPSed over .800 vsRHP the last two years (445 total PA) who plays much better defense.

I’m not sure why Dusty doesn’t play Nix more in place of Gomes against righties this year even when Nix plays better defense.

Another option would be to let Gomes go and just play the better defense and upside of Chris Heisey next year in LF.

4 years 11 months ago

Agreed but also look at the fact that Harang is coming off the books this year, with possibly Arroyo as well (although I’d like the Reds to retain him if possible).

I love Gomes but if we can take some extra money and look into someone like Carl Crawford (not going to happen but used as an example) then I’d be ok with that. Heisey has proven so far that he deserves a much harder look in the big leagues too though.

4 years 11 months ago

Gomes is underrated. He makes for a good cheap platoon player. Pick up the option because other teams will sign him to a guaranteed deal.

4 years 11 months ago

Depending on how far the Reds make it in the playoffs, they may have some extra cash to spend. Too early to speculate.

mattdgroves
4 years 11 months ago

Trade him for Rasmus :)

4 years 11 months ago

I sure would not mind that Reds Killer on the Team next year.

RedbirdRuffian
4 years 11 months ago

Easy call, pick up the option at that price. He’s a productive player and the Reds don’t have a better option waiting in the wings. They are still waiting on the development of Bruce and Stubbs. That’s the problem with young potentially talented players, it takes a lot of patience to see who will pan out and who will fail. and he the only way to find out is to put them on the field.

gmblngptchr20
4 years 11 months ago

Bye bye Mr. Gomes.

Balentine, and Heisey are better options if not for anything more than their defense. Gomes had 6 incredible weeks, a couple ok months, a terrible August, and he is showing some life here in September. I don’t think he is an everyday player.

I do like the hustle, but he just is not that good at defense, and that is what this team is based off of. If we’re talking pure hitting than I would almost rather see Alonso or Frazier in there, and not as a platoon

Steve_in_MA
4 years 11 months ago

Certainly, Dusty Baker feels good about putting Gomes out there, and that is a huge factor in the plan for next year. Empirically, I would note that Gomes power has not dropped off dramatically. He’s on pace to hit about 18 HRs this season, just 2 shy of his number from last year. But the real gauge I like to use is the most important statistic in evaluating offensive impact, and nobody seems to care about. I call it NRG – net runs generated. Its Runs (R) + Runs Batted In (RBI) – Homers (HR) = NRG. Premiere impact players generate 150 net runs per season or more. Gomes has 124 NRG right now and is on pace to reach about 145. He’s just under the premiere impact level. I think he’s accurately priced in the option, based on this criterion. Fangraphs disagrees, based on WAR, but there aren’t many “replacement” level players who will generate 145 net runs per season for you (roughly 1 run per game appearance). I say exercise the option.

camisadelgolf
4 years 11 months ago

If Gomes can consistently put up numbers like that, he should stay, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect his BA w/ RISP to be sustainable. I won’t deny that he’s had a great year at the plate, but he’s due for a big drop-off any day now, and I hope he isn’t with the Reds when that day comes.

johnsilver
4 years 11 months ago

Gomes has been respectable, but really, his OBP is still hovering a tad over .320, he still strikes out once every 3.5 AB and he still is an awful corner outfielder. Is it worth 1.75M? remember clearly his old Rays days when the guy would go on a tear and he would hit 2-3 HR in 10-15 AB’s then strike out 15 times in the next 20.

There was another reason beside monetary that Tampa let this guy walk.

4 years 11 months ago

there is a reason not many people use that metric. 😉

not many replacement players are given the opportunity to hit 5th night after night and your stat quite heartily benefits players that are surrounded by good bats. other than the month of may, gomes’ highest monthly ops is .703. his defense this year is in the bottom 1% of all qualified players no matter which metric you use. this guy is a nightmare, and, although it may be nice to pick up his contract for use as a platoon player, toothpick baker will run him out there in 4th or 5th simply because he plays lf. if my options are gomes batting 5th everyday or no gomes, i would choose no gomes.

4 years 11 months ago

Something your forgetting is Gomes numbers with runners in scoring position and his 2 out numbers that have helped the Reds a lot this season.

Still strikes out too often though for my blood. If the Reds can actually find someone decent either platoon Nyx and Heisey or something like that or go get an everyday guy free agent.

4 years 11 months ago

jay, in a sport where you are in the top 1% of the league if you get a hit 1 out of 3 at bats, risp stats are extremely susceptible to small sample size error. gomes’ career ba/risp is pretty similar to his career average, i wonder why? so i wouldn’t say that i am forgetting so much as intentionally disregarding it; it is more noise than data – insignificant statistically.

but, if we are tossing out small sample size stats, gomes had the same amount of rbi as reds pitchers from july 20-august 24. 4 rbi in over a month from a number 5 hitter.

so we have awful defense, a huge month of may (inflated by a massive babip) buoying his season stats, and baker’s refusal to move him down in the order because baker is an rbi slut. (btw, the reds are 23rd in the league in ops from #5 hitters)

4 years 11 months ago

These are some good points. Thank you for taking the time to let me know of this. Gomes is someone I like on the Reds but I also think there are some free agents that will for sure cost more but I am sure we could possibly find a LF that would give us better production on both the offense and defense.

The hard part for the Reds is getting that good outfielder to come to Cincy.

camisadelgolf
4 years 11 months ago

Jonny Gomes’ defense is atrocious, and he can’t hit RHP. Is he a viable option against LHP? Absolutely. But the unfortunate thing is that Dusty will give him playing time against RHP as a show of veteran respect despite the Reds having better options internally. Gomes’ option is simply too costly to justify picking it up. The Reds weren’t afraid to non-tender him last year, and hopefully they’re not afraid to refuse him a contract immediately following the season once again. I love the guy for his intangibles, but the Reds are simply better off without him.

4 years 11 months ago

Ok by baseball standards his contract is cheap for a guy that hits near 20 homers and bats over .260 in a season

nathanalext
4 years 11 months ago

Theres just something about him that I love.. His hustle. Sure he’s not the greatest player in the league, but for one more year at 1.75, why not? I’m sure he’ll get at least that on the open market. He’s been a steal for us this year, lets pay him next year.

Slopeboy
4 years 11 months ago

The money grubbing Reds would be foolish to let Gomes walk. While he’s not a great player by any means, it will cost more to get a player of his caliber on the open market.

4 years 11 months ago

Personally, I like Gomes, and I think he is a good RH bench/4th outfielder type player. I don’t think the Reds could go wrong next year, keeping him at that low of a rate or buying out his option. They’ve gone with the Gomes/Nix combo as their 3rd/4th or 4th/5th outfielders the past two years, and I think they’ve produced fairly well.

However, I wonder about a slightly less expensive, younger option in Chris Heisey and Dan Dorn. Heisey and Dorn would fill the Gomes/Nix roles in different way. Heisey (RH) can play & backup all three OF positions well like LH Nix, while Dorn (LH) is better known for his offense like RH Gomes.

The Dorn/Heisey combination has the upside of better OBP, and possibly better overall production. Plus, unlike Gomes, Dorn could also backup RF and 1B. I’d rather see Dorn playing 1B when Votto needs a day off than a utility infielder like Cairo.

4 years 11 months ago

If Dorn is ready is the problem with this though. I don’t think he has any major league time or if he does its a really small sample. Cairo has been a lifesaver for this team this year when players were down with minor injuries. Personally hoping we have him again next year to play the same role.

4 years 11 months ago

Dorn has no major league time, but has been in AAA the past two seasons. He’s a .293avg/.894ops career hitter in the minors and hit .302/.944 this year. He really should be up with the club now, given that they are playing with just 3 healthy OFers and Heisey has been REALLY struggling of late.

Cairo has been a solid bench option this year, but he hasn’t had a year like this offensively since 2004. I’d put odds on him repeating this performance at less than 50/50. And even if he is brought back, I’d rather have a better backup plan at 1B.

4 years 11 months ago

Well as long as they have Alonso , which hopefully won’t be too long after the season, Unless they are putting him in the outfield, which worries me cause his success there has not been to great, the Reds would have him to back up Votto. Wish Alonso could play 3rd to back up both Rolen and Votto and an occasional OF appearance. Cairo might continue to do well in the role he played this season next year so Im not really willing to write him off. Especially if Baker stays he loves his Vets.