Friday, February 19, 2010

Mets Must Look Into Acquiring Jonny Gomes

Metsblog reported on Jerry Manuel's press conference earlier today, and one of their bullet points really caught my attention:
He wants a power bat for the bench, like Phillies had with Matt Stairs, even if the player is unable to play a variety of positions, like Mike Jacobs.

We at Fonzie have been saying that all offseason. But instead of crying over spilled milk - what is there left out there?

Jonny Gomes.

The Mets absolutely NEED to be in on Jonny Gomes right now, as he is still a free agent. Gomes hit a great .267/.338/.541 for the Reds last season - and although that was far above his career line of .241/.330/.471 - even his career marks are good for a 109 OPS+.

He will be playing the entirety of this season at age 29, so he's in his prime right now. Even more importantly, he CRUSHES lefties - hitting .307/.369/.545 against them last season and .274/.369/.517 against them for his career.

Aaron Gleeman reported just this afternoon that Gomes is still on the market searching for a better offer. And the real kicker? His best offer on the table now is a minor league deal from the Reds. How come nobody will give this guy a major league contract or guaranteed money?

He plays a poor outfield, but did post a +2.2 UZR/150 in left field last season over 253 innings. Maybe we can slap a first baseman's mitt on him and have him back up 1B, and LF. Either way, he would be a strong option to pinch hit off the bench late in games, could grab an occasional start against lefties, and occupy the last spot on our roster[1].

I don't think the fact that the Mets already have Tatis should stop them from offering a cheap deal to Gomes[1]. The man had 20(!!) home runs last year in only 281 at-bats. He's the answer and he's there for the taking, even on February 19th.

[1] You'd have Blanco, Cora, and Tatis as your infielders, and Gary Matthews and Gomes as your outfielders. We'd lack a super-strong pinch hitter against righties, but only until May when Beltran returns and Angel Pagan can assume the role. Even so, Gomes had a .244/.320/.539 slg against righties last season. We'd be looking at probably the best bench the Mets have had in several years if we made this move.

[2] Either way it would have made a ton more sense than signing Jacobs, who is left-handed, worse, and can only play first. I'd cut Jacobs today and give that exact contract to Gomes.

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