Mariners linked to Jonny Gomes

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is reporting that the Seattle Mariners, along with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers have expressed interest in free agent Jonny Gomes.

The outfielder started 2014 with the Boston Red Sox and was traded to the Oakland Athletics along with pitcher Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes at the July 31st trading deadline. Gomes, who broke into the majors with Tampa Bay in 2005, is primarily a leftfielder; playing that position in 84 games with Boston and Oakland and 11 in right field for both teams.

The Mariners, who have been in the market for right-handed hitting to balance their line-up, signed free agent right-handed hitter Nelson Cruz this week and have been linked to a bevy of free agents and potential trade targets including Russell Martin, Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, Matt Kemp, and Yoenis Cespedes.

If the Mariners were to sign the 34 year-old, he would make a great platoon option vs. left-handed pitching in left field; possibly combining with left-handed hitting Dustin Ackley. Both Ackley and Gomes have their defensive liabilities. However, the combination of Gomes vs. lefties and Ackley vs. righties would provide better offensive output from the left field position than Seattle has seen in recent years.

Potential Gomes/Ackley Platoon
Player AB
HR AVG
OBP
Ackley vs. RHP
351 13 .259 .310
Gomes vs. LHP
170 4 .276 .373
2014 Combined Totals 521 17 .264 .332

Gomes has been a durable performer and has missed few games due to illness/injury during his career. The veteran hasn’t been on the disabled list since missing 36 games in 2006 due to shoulder surgery. It’s probable that Gomes, who is coming off a 2 years/$10 million contract, would want a multi-year deal to sign with Seattle. If used properly as a platoon player, Jonny Gomes would certainly help the Mariners in 2015.

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Luke Arkins

Luke is a native New Yorker, who grew up a Mets fan. After the US Navy moved him to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he decided to make Seattle his home. In 2014, Luke joined the Prospect Insider team and is now a contributor at HERO Sports also. During baseball season, he can be often found observing the local team at Safeco Field. You can follow Luke on Twitter @luke_arkins

14 Comments

  1. Just read this myself but I would say for one year, I’d punt the early draft if we could bet Cabrera on a reasonable deal. They are saying, from what I read, Mariners are thinking 4yr deal like Cruz..I could live with that very much.

  2. Sounds like the Melky Cabrera rumors are picking up. Team keeps all their young players and only loses a 2nd round draft pick. I have mixed feelings on it, but he would look pretty good batting in the 2 hole.

  3. I like Rios as a 4th outfielder myself but not as an everyday guy so a platoon of Rios/Gomes would probably be serviceable. I still think that we get an everyday rightfielder with my money on Kemp at this point. I don’t think the M’s are nearly as involved on Upton as some want to say. I think if the Dodgers kick in enough $$$ the Mariners would move Walker in a deal for him and that makes more sense for both clubs in that they fill a need with a player that has multiple years of control.

  4. The rumor is still out there that the M’s are looking at Rios as well. Would Rios and Gomes together be enough for our OF? Its a risk for sure.

  5. I was thinking today that another way to read this trade of Saunders for Happ still has little to do with the M’s being upset with the Condor’s conditioning, etc. and more to do with JackZ now approaching the team salary limit for 2015. If true, then there is a logic in him trading Saunders and his $3.5M salary for Happ and his $7M salary to fill the veteran vacancy in the rotation. It also implies that the M’s would NOT be in on Kemp and his upwards of $20M/year OR Upton and his $14.5M/year to go along with losing a young starting arm in those trades. It also would mean that Melky Cabrera is not on the cards at a Cruz-like salary for the next four or five years. It makes a guy like Gomes more plausible to fill out the line-up. In this scenario we could expect to see BradMiller, LoganMorrison, NelsonCruz and JamesJones logging time in the carousel that would be RightField.

    It this is how it pans out, then the indignation regarding the M’s punting on Michael Saunders would be much more justified than it currently is if he was only being pencilled in as a fourth outfielder. Perhaps Saunders requested to be traded if his new agent was told that he would likely not start.

    Maybe the Winter Meetings will bring more clarity here.

  6. Gomes doesn’t make sense unless he’s a platoon. And you don’t use him as a defensive replacement. And we just signed a DH. Maybe split time with Ackley and Morrison. Hmmm, where did this rumor come from? Oh yeah, the Internet. Nah, we need a real outfielder.

  7. Who says “no”. T. Walker and a bullpen arm to TB for W. Myers. Might need a mid level prospect also. Myers is the type of controllable hitter the M’s need if we are going to trade one of our best prospects. Doubt TB would do it but still fun to think about.

  8. Mariners have arguably been linked to or expressed interest in every remaining OF in free agency, so unless there is something more substantive, why is this even a story?

  9. I can’t speak to how Lloyd McClendon would use a hypothetical addition like Gomes. My suggestion was based on how the roster is constructed today. There’s plenty of time before the start of the season and I suspect we’ll see more upgrades to the offense before Opening Day. Also, two playoff teams (Boston and Oakland) found value in Gomes over the past few years and they were both “all in”. More to follow, I’m sure.

  10. Why would they sign Gomes when they could presumably get a younger John Mayberry for cheaper? They have similar OPS numbers career against LHP, and Mayberry was far superior in 2014?

  11. “There is no way Ackley will be platooned.”

    I agree, but the M’s have fool me/us before. I think the M’s are “in” on most every available outfielder with pop, and some First-basemen that we haven’t been linked to, too. Gomes, at best is down the M’s priority list, but if he were signed we would be seeing a RF rotation of Cruz, JamesJones, Morrison, NickFranklin…

    ….which leads me to believe that much higher on the M’s list are Melky Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton for RF.

    Signing Gomes would tell us that the M’s aren’t as “all in” in 2015 as they would like us to believe they are.

  12. If they do it right, Ackley would still be an everyday player. Play him all games against righties; when a lefty is on the mound, start Gomes, and use Ack as your late pinch runner and defensive replacement. Or, use Gomes as an occasional 1B when a tough lefty is on the hill to give LoMo a break.

    That kind of thinking, however, may be beyond Jack…

  13. Luke, I think Gomes could be a very helpful acquisition if they would be willing to use him in such a platoon, and use him here and there as a DH or pinch-hitter. He would add some needed depth.

    Like Ken, I’m doubtful they would think of Ackley as a platoon player, though…

  14. There is no way Ackley will be platooned. The organization, whether justified or not, is high on Ackley as an everyday player. On the other hand, Gomez paired with Condor, oh wait…

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