Glad the Cubs are giving Jonny Gomes a strong look.
He’s in his peak years as a 29-year-old, and a strong right-handed bat off the bench. Last season Gomes batted .267 overall –.307 against left-handers– hit 20 HR and drove in 51 RBI for the Reds…all in just 98 games played and less than 300 at-bats.
Of the three reported ‘fourth outfielders’ the Cubs are targeting -Jermaine Dye, Xavier Nady & Jim Edmonds (okay, I’m including Edmonds for my sake), Gomes would easily come as the most affordable. (Rick Ankiel, who was also speculated to be in the Cubs’ mix, signed with Kansas City Thursday.)
Drawbacks to signing Gomes? Durability is the top issue. He’s yet to play in more than 117 games through five full seasons. His defense, though versatile, is average as well.
The plus side…coming off the pine he’s a right-handed bat with home run power, he’s cheap, can play both corner outfield positions, he’s cheap, would costs the Cubs little if he under performs, could be valuable trade bait come July, and he’s affordable/cheap.
I’m not saying Jonny is tops on my list, but the mystery of Gomes’ career –just what kind of player is this guy?– intrigues me.
Many still believe Gomes is a diamond in the rough, and I for one, wouldn’t rule that theory out, either.
Diamond or dead-weight, it’s a small risk on the Cubs part financially, so I’d be happy to see them take the chance.