Red Sox have deal in place with OF GomesBy SCOTT LAUBER
November 21. 2012 9:07PM
Within the next few days, the Red Sox' outfield may get a little deeper.
The Red Sox have an agreement in place with free agent Jonny Gomes on a two-year contract, with a physical exam still pending, an industry source confirmed Wednesday. Gomes, who turns 32 today, batted .262 with 18 homers, 47 RBI and a career-high .377 on-base percentage in 333 plate appearances for the Oakland Athletics this year.
Regarded as a positive clubhouse presence, Gomes spent six seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays before bouncing between three teams (Cincinnati, Washington, Oakland) over the past two years. In 10 major league seasons, he's a career .244 hitter with a .334 on-base percentage, .455 slugging percentage, 136 homers and 411 RBI.
It's unclear how the Red Sox would use Gomes, who plays left field and right field but has been a part-time player for most of his career. A right-handed hitter with pull power that figures to suit Fenway Park, Gomes has gotten at least 400 at-bats in a season only once, in 2010 with the Reds. Thus, there's a strong possibility the Red Sox could utilize him in a platoon with a left-handed-hitting outfielder such as Ryan Kalish or even switch-hitting Daniel Nava, who had far better splits this season from the left side of the plate (.269/.383/.414 compared to .185/.280/.333 as a right-handed hitter).
Moreover, the addition of Gomes wouldn't preclude the Red Sox from adding other outfielders, including potentially re-signing Cody Ross. In fact, general manager Ben Cherington has said numerous times that the club is in the market for a pair of everyday outfielders to flank center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.