Veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes has wrapped up his stint with Japan’s Rakuten Golden Eagles by “mutual consent,” Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. He is interested in opportunities with major league organizations, though Gomes acknowledges that he’s not really in position to sign onto a MLB roster.
“Yeah, I want to play,” he told Rosenthal. “I want to play when I’m 50 but I understand where I am and where the game is right now.”
Gomes did suggest that he can “bring way more to a team” than on-field performance, and there is little doubt that his celebrated clubhouse presence would help draw interest. But the 35-year-old struggled with Rakuten, putting up a .169/.280/.246 slash with 22 strikeouts in 75 plate appearances.
Of course, Gomes only ended up pursuing an opportunity abroad after battling through a pair of rough campaigns. Over 2014-15, he posted a collective .225/.321/.337 batting line in 583 trips to the plate with the Red Sox, Athletics, Braves, and Royals.
Though he did still hit lefties at an above-average clip, Gomes checked in below replacement level in both years. He’s never been a great fielder, and also took a step back on the bases in 2015.
At his best, Gomes is a lefty-mashing fourth outfielder who can hold his own against right-handed pitching. He’s also provided surprising value on the bases (albeit not in the stolen base department) while receiving plaudits for his influence as a teammate.