The Mets nearly acquired center fielder Carlos Gomez from the Brewers prior to last summer’s trade deadline, but New York backed out thanks to concerns over Gomez’s hip. Gomez ended up with the Astros, who designated him for assignment Wednesday after he hit a shockingly ineffective .221/.277/.342 with nine home runs in 486 plate appearances dating back to last year’s trade.
Now that Gomez will likely be available for the prorated league minimum soon, the Mets could once again have interest in the services of a player whose professional career began when they signed him as a 16-year-old in 2002.
“We always have an open mind,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Howie Kussoy of the New York Post.
Despite his woes at the plate, the 30-year-old Gomez remains a threat on the bases and would add some speed to the Mets, who have the third-fewest steals in the majors (27) and have been among the worst base-running teams in the sport this year, according to FanGraphs. He’d also provide another option in center field to a club in need of one at the moment. With Juan Lagares recovering from thumb surgery, the Mets’ primary choices in center are Yoenis Cespedes, Alejandro De Aza, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson. Those are all less-than-ideal fits, as Cespedes – who has spent the lion’s share of the season in center – would much rather play left field; De Aza is amid a miserable year; Conforto has little experience in center; and Granderson, 35, is a defensive liability. Unfortunately, Gomez has endured an uncharacteristically subpar season in the field, posting negative figures in Defensive Runs Saved (minus-6) and UZR/150 (minus-4.7).
Offensively, the right-handed hitting Gomez could conceivably serve in a platoon with the lefty-swinging Conforto, who has hit a terrible .133/.185/.150 against southpaws since his promotion to the majors last season. That’s over an admittedly microscopic sample size of 65 plate appearances, though, and the only way the 23-year-old Conforto will eventually become an everyday player is by adjusting to same-handed pitchers. For his part, Gomez (.221/.275/.326 in 95 PAs) hasn’t inspired versus lefties this year, either. Nevertheless, at 57-55 and two games out of a Wild Card spot, the reigning National League Champions haven’t ruled out reuniting with Gomez.