Free Agent Stock Watch: Jonny Gomes

The Reds hold a $1.75MM option on Jonny Gomes, and he'd like to return to Cincinnati, but as last year showed us, there's no guarantee that the team retains the 29-year-old left fielder. He was non-tendered following a more productive 2009 season, so it's entirely possible that Gomes hits the market once again. In a recent poll, MLBTR readers were split fairly evenly on whether or not the Reds would retain Gomes (58% said yes). Let's take a closer look at Gomes, now that his season is over:

The Good

  • Gomes has always crushed left-handed pitching. For his career, he owns a .276/.371/.507 line against southpaws.
  • Gomes is affordable. He signed for just an $800K base salary in 2010, though he did make an additional $500K in incentives due to exceeding 500 plate appearances. A team seriously interested in Gomes could have him for a couple million dollars at the most, and there's probably no need to commit multiple years.
  • At age 29 (30 in November), Gomes isn't likely to be in line for a sharp decline.
  • He's always been prone to strikeouts (career 30.2%), but this season that number dropped to a more respectable 24.1%. He also posted his highest line drive percentage (20.7%) since 2007.

The Bad

  • For as tough as he is on left-handed pitching, Gomes is rather pedestrian against right-handers. His .233/.309/.438 line isn't going to bring fear to the hearts of same-handed pitchers, but he does homer once every 20 PAs against them.
  • Defensively, Gomes is no wizard. Primarily a left fielder, he's only posted a positive UZR one time at the position; he rated slightly above average in 2009's small sample, but owns a -19.0 UZR/150 there for his career.
  • Gomes cut down on his K's this season, but also posted a career-low walk rate. His mark of 6.8% is likely the result of seeing more time against right-handers, which also accounts for his overall drop in slugging.

The Verdict

If the Reds buy out Gomes' option, he has a contractual clause stating that he must be released, making him available to all 30 teams. For all his flaws, Gomes is a useful player if utilized correctly. He punishes left-handed pitching and is respectable enough against right-handers to add reasonable depth to any club's bench. His ideal role is probably as a platoon DH and backup corner outfielder. The overall drop in his numbers should keep his 2011 salary in the $1MM-$2MM range, meaning he can be an affordable source of depth to interested suitors.


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30 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Jonny Gomes"


TeamCropDusters
4 years 10 months ago

I want the Rangers to sign this guy. He could platoon effectively at 1B with MorelandDavis. He could also spell Murphy in LF vs. tough LHP.

He would be THE perfect signing for the Rangers and an upgrade over Cantu.

Did I mention he is a fantastic clubhouse guy that brings ENERGY to the ballpark EVERYDAY?

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Take him, we Reds fans would like him back, but would also like to have someone like Maglio Ordonez for example.

Ian_Smell
4 years 10 months ago

But wouldn’t you Tigers fans want Magglio to stay and wouldn’t you Rangers fans want Gomes so that he could provide some depth off the bench?

TeamCropDusters
4 years 10 months ago

If Vlad goes, we could be in on Maggs too.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Probably, but I see Vlad staying. Maybe Texas signs Mags as well as keeping Vlad instead of the Gomes idea.

TeamCropDusters
4 years 10 months ago

Where does MAgs play in your scenario????????????? Makes ZERO sense.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Bench option plus OF. Trade Borbon.

wandydogg
4 years 10 months ago

He can’t play 1st base

TeamCropDusters
4 years 10 months ago

Neither can Vlad. Hence…. if Vlad goes…..

TeamCropDusters
4 years 10 months ago

If you are talking about Gomes then you are right. For some reason I thought he was a 1BOF. He’d do well to put in a little practice with the 1B mitt to enhance his value. Then again 6’1 1B aren’t ideal.

monroe_says
4 years 10 months ago

“For all his flaws, Gomes is a useful player if utilized correctly.”

So true. Unfortunately, the Reds have a manager who is incapable of understanding this concept.

brandondc
4 years 10 months ago

Reds would have to be crazy to let him go after seeing the energy he brought to the team this year. Suck it up and pay him $1.75 mil, he’s a great guy to have for spot starts, pinch hits and an outstanding clubhouse presence.

TeamCropDusters
4 years 10 months ago

Agreed 1.75 is a bargain…especially since he brings the things that can’t be taught.

wandydogg
4 years 10 months ago

Dusty loves this guy, no way the reds let him walk

brandondc
4 years 10 months ago

I would think so too, but they let him walk last year. Hopefully it’s a different story this offseason since they came off such a good year

roberty
4 years 10 months ago

Perfect fit for the right handed half of a left field platoon for the 2011 Atlanta Braves!

wandydogg
4 years 10 months ago

same for the Reds platoon. Better look somewhere else for help Braves fans

roberty
4 years 10 months ago

Yeah that’s a really cheap option.

wandydogg
4 years 10 months ago

he aint going nowhere

wandydogg
4 years 10 months ago

he ain’t going nowhere

4 years 10 months ago

It’s easy that you pick this option up. If we acquire a bat to come play LF for us every day then Gomes becomes a solid bench player OR we trade him to somebody for a prospect to help in the future.

1.75mil for a guy with his production is a bargain. His defense however is pretty bad so I could see a trade with an AL team to be their DH.

4 years 10 months ago

You won’t net much in return for Jonny Gomes.

4 years 10 months ago

I didn’t mean top prospect, i meant at best a guy in the lower minors with some upside. He has some value at 1.75mil so we wouldn’t be trading him away for free.

camisadelgolf
4 years 10 months ago

Yes, if utilized correctly, he is a good player to have on your team. Unfortunately, Dusty Baker–who honest deserves consideration for NL Manager of the Year–didn’t realize that.

And for those of you hoping Gomes joins your team and serves as a DH and backup 1B, let me warn you of something: Gomes cannot play first base. I’ve seen him work out there several times, and it was simply a disaster. He may have improved since the beginning of the season, but believe me when I say it’s not a gimme that he wouldn’t hurt you much on defense at first base.

johnsilver
4 years 10 months ago

Reds version of Billy Hall. Never understood why teams like people that k every 3 AB’s, though they play 4-5 positions. Hits come at inopportune times also. Remember this guys career very well at TB and was a reason he was shown the door and in his case it was not over salary.

Aric_Reds
4 years 10 months ago

Gomes is nothing like Bill Hall…Bill Hall was a utility player. Gomes is a below average OF with above average pop. Bill Hall also was an all around better hitter. Im a huge reds fan…but hes not coming back. Am AL team would be lucky to have him as a DH tho

johnsilver
4 years 10 months ago

Reds version of Billy Hall. Never understood why teams like people that k every 3 AB’s, though they play 4-5 positions. Hits come at inopportune times also. Remember this guys career very well at TB and was a reason he was shown the door and in his case it was not over salary.

4 years 10 months ago

Gomes would be a nice fit in KC to help balance out the all-LH-leaning starting OF… possible platooning with Gordon in LF if he continues to plod along.

4 years 10 months ago

Gomes would be a nice fit in KC to help balance out the all-LH-leaning starting OF… possible platooning with Gordon in LF if he continues to plod along.

RampantRedsFan
4 years 10 months ago

I think Gomes comes back and is misused by Dusty and keeps Heisey on the bench (unfortunately).

He should be used against lefties when Bruce (and Heisey) needs a day and as a pinch hitter.