JAN. 23: Brown reports that Gomes’ option can vest at three different amounts, depending on his playing time (Twitter link). The option will vest at $3MM upon reaching 325 plate appearances, $3.5MM if he reaches 425 PAs and $4MM if Gomes reaches 500 PAs.
JAN. 22, 9:03pm: Gomes will earn $4MM in 2015, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter link). The 2016 vesting option is worth $3MM, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets, and it will become a club option if it fails to vest.
7:20pm: The Braves have reached agreement with free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes on a one-year deal with a vesting option for 2016, Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports (Twitter links). Gomes is represented by the MVP Sports Group.
MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported on Tuesday that Atlanta was interested in Gomes as a platoon option in left field, likely as a partner for Zoilo Almonte. The right-handed hitting Gomes has an outstanding .861 OPS over 1494 career plate appearances against left-handed pitching, including a .276/.373/.371 slash line in 204 PA against southpaws in 2014. Gomes hit .234/.327/.330 overall last season over 321 with the Red Sox and A’s, going to Oakland along with Jon Lester in the trade deadline blockbuster that also saw Yoenis Cespedes go to Boston.
Gomes is the latest new piece to join a revamped Braves outfield that will see his platoon with Almonte (or another left-handed hitting outfielder) replace Justin Upton in left field and Nick Markakis replace Jason Heyward in right. Gomes, 34, is also widely regarded as a strong clubhouse presence, which could be helpful in mentoring Almonte and the several other young players acquired by the Braves this winter as they’ve looked to semi-rebuild their roster.
The Mariners, Rangers, Cubs and Orioles are some of the teams also known to have shown interest in Gomes this winter. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the Braves were worried as late as this afternoon that Gomes would end up signing with the Rangers, so Texas may indeed have been the runner-up suitor.