John Fay spoke with Jonny Gomes about whether he’d be back in 2010. That seems to depend on a couple of things.

First, and most importantly, will the Reds offer Gomes arbitration? If they do, Gomes says he would accept.

If the Reds don’t offer arbitration to the big guy, however, Gomes would be a free agent. Would he consider re-signing with the Reds?

If the Reds don’t offer Gomes arbitration and try to bring him back as a free agent, it will come down one thing: Playing time.

“I’m going to be in the situation I was last offseason,” Gomes said. “It’s a time in your career where you could take the opportunity to play close to home. It’s time in career where you could go for the most money. For me, it’s time in my career where I’m still looking for that opportunity. I’m still looking for gate to gate with 500, 600 at-bats.”

Can the Reds offer him that?

“I don’t know,” Dusty Baker said. “That’s way down the line.”

I don’t know if the Reds can offer him that either, but I’d sure like to see Gomes return in 2010.

38 Responses

  1. Jose

    The reds won’t want to pay his contract, because they have Bruce, Stubbs, Nix, Heisey, Frazier, Dickerson, and Wee willy, whom you know dusty will keep around.

  2. Bill Lack

    What are the thoughts on what Gomes could ask for and what the Reds might offer in arbitration? Is this a big gamble for Reds? A worthwhile one?

  3. Dan

    I don’t know where I’m getting this, honestly, but my gut is saying Gomes is due $1.5 or $2 million next year.

    I’ve become a big fan of his. The dude hits. I’d say he and Jay Bruce have the most raw power on the team.

    So yeah, I’d like to see him back.

    My question (from another thread) is, how bad is his defense?

    I don’t mind a slugging corner outfielder with slightly below average defense, but if he’s BRUTAL maybe we should look elsewhere?

  4. Jeff

    I like Gomes and would love to see him back in Cincy but I don’t think he is a everyday player his defense scares me a little. I think he will be looking to make 2.5 mil to 3 mil with the way the economy is it should be on the lower side. I’m sure there is plenty of teams that would like to add but I doubt as a everyday player as well. Good luck to Gomes in 2010 hope to see you back with the Reds!

  5. JasonL

    Historically, he’s pretty bad in the field. Bad enough that if he doesn’t keep hitting like he is now, he’d wouldn’t really merit a starting spot.

  6. al

    gomes, stubbs, bruce, with dickerson and balentein off the bench is pretty decent i think.

    the only thing better would be if they got a holiday or bay, but it doesn’t sound like they have the money.

  7. Dan

    Honestly, I don’t think a Holliday or a Bay would come here unless we were to offer them FAR more than any other team.

    I mean, what reason do they have? We’ve stunk for a solid decade, and they aren’t from the area.

    We’d have to ridiculously overpay, and I don’t think we can, or should.

  8. Matt WI

    al: gomes, stubbs, bruce, with dickerson and balentein off the bench is pretty decent i think.the only thing better would be if they got a holiday or bay, but it doesn’t sound like they have the money.

    Yup, I think that’ll do it for the coming year.

  9. John

    I’m surprised Gomes’ offensive value merits so little commitment from this team. The guy can hit. His glove is a glorified frying pan, but it’s not like he’s playing CF. Plus he can play 1B.

  10. JasonL

    He’s willing play first. Based on how much they’ve used him there, I don’t know if it’s fair to say that he can play first.

  11. RedBlooded

    I don’t see any reason to bring Gomes back. He is not the answer for the future. He hit pretty well this year but he gives it away in the field. And the future is not next year. Willy will still be here in 2010. I think next year should be used to find out who can play among the prospects we have. Stubbs? Heisey? Frazier? Balentein? Dorn? Maybe Alonzo can show he is ready for 2011. That might mean Votto in LF. We could have a number of good options from within in 2011. Willy’s contract will be up. If we are still thinking Gomes in 2011 we are in trouble. So having him in 2010 plus Willy just takes a lot of time away from real prospects to show what they can do.

  12. Sultan of Swaff

    I’m more worried the Reds will lob a 2 year deal at him a la Taveras and Lincoln.
    He’s having a nice year, but I think Votto, Francisco, and Frazier could all duplicate or surpass his production in LF. At most, he’s a 1/2 season stopgap until we know what we have w/ Alonso and Francisco.

  13. RC

    As I have said before, Gomes is the funnest Red of all, so I’d truly hate to see him go. And Gomes would probably be a cheaper alternative than my other prospective suggestion (Hernandez) for a one year 1B, in the off chance that a certain player happens to be moving to a certain other position nudge nudge wink wink.

    We do have one thing that might entice a big name free agent bat to sign with the Reds – a teeny tiny stat-inflating little ball park. Now, trying to get a big name free agent pitcher to sign here… *that* would take some doing.

  14. Andy

    Agreed with Sultan, give him arbitration or let him go. Make him prove that he can play everyday before we give him multiple years.

  15. Drew Nelson

    If you move Votto to left, who plays first next year? Also whom else is out there for the Reds to sign? Would a move to say get a Bay or Holliday prove our owner does care about winning and not just saying it? I would love to see Stubbs and Bruce in CF and RF, and a Bay in LF, but our owner and this economy doesn’t lend itself to that.

  16. Glenn

    I’d love to see Gomes back in 2010. He’s earned it, Mr. C and WJ need to make the budget fit to keep it.

  17. per14

    Gomes is kind of like Arroyo to me, although obviously, they are totally different situations. Man, they are both fun to have around and I really enjoy watching them. But like Arroyo (inconsistent, low strikeout levels) Gomes has warts (defense!): Just not sure he’s worth the money he’s going to ask for.

  18. mike

    some random thoughts on Gomes, who I love watching play

    1st, I’m not sure people realize how great of a hitting season he’s had

    Here are the top Reds OF season in terms of hitting from 2000-2009 with at least 250 PA

    RUNS CREATED/GAME YEAR DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE PA
    1 Jose Guillen 2003 3.37 8.53 5.15 349
    2 Adam Dunn 2004 2.92 8.18 5.26 681
    3 Ken Griffey Jr. 2005 2.73 7.80 5.07 555
    4 Adam Dunn 2005 2.66 7.73 5.07 671
    5 Austin Kearns 2002 2.52 7.54 5.02 435
    6 Adam Dunn 2007 2.43 7.72 5.29 632
    7 Adam Dunn 2001 2.43 7.69 5.27 286
    8 Ken Griffey Jr. 2000 2.28 7.87 5.59 631
    9 Alex Ochoa 2000 2.12 7.71 5.59 275
    10 Adam Dunn 2008 2.01 7.11 5.11 464
    11 Jonny Gomes 2009 1.90 6.94 5.04 261
    12 Josh Hamilton 2007 1.88 7.18 5.29 337
    13 Ken Griffey Jr. 2001 1.75 7.02 5.27 417
    14 Adam Dunn 2002 1.68 6.70 5.02 676
    15 Russell Branyan 2002 1.53 6.55 5.02 255

    I think the above list also shows my one worry.
    Gomes is 28. We are catching his peak. Will his shelf live be short?

    Is he another Guillen/Ochoa and shouldn’t we consider dealing him? (too late for that now).
    He’s the perfect type of free player, who has a career year, you sell high with.

  19. al

    gomes is not going to get a ton of money through arbitration, but he could get more than 2 mil. worth it though in my opinion.

    the real issue in the outfield is whether the reds are going to be smart enough to tell willy to go away. if bruce rebounds, and gomes produces near this level, and stubbs continues to play good defense and improve at the plate, then we’ve got a good, if not great outfield.

    if willy is involved in the outfield it immediatly becomes a bad outfield again.

    what we need is a better shortstop, and the best way to do that is move phillips. I’d like to see them get orlando hudson to play 2nd. then you could have something like:

    hudson
    phillips
    votto
    gomes
    bruce
    rolen
    stubbs
    hannigan

    that’s a lineup that could compete.

  20. Tom Diesman

    Al: I like the way you think and would only add in Nix and Dickerson to platoon with Gomes and Stubbs respectively and would alter the batting order a bit:

    CF Dickerson/Stubbs
    2B Hudson
    1B Votto
    3B Rolen
    RF Bruce
    SS Phillips
    LF Nix/Gomes
    C Hanigan

  21. mike

    I absolutely would not platoon with Stubbs. He’s a prospect and should be playing full time. Having Dickerson around is still a good idea a left on the bench who plays good defense, get on base and give the right handed OFers a day off every once in a while

  22. Dan

    I agree w/ Mike — a strict platoon will get the lefty hitter about 2/3 of the AB’s and the righty about 1/3 of the AB’s (b/c there are more RHP’s than LHP’s). I think I’d like to get Stubbs out there every day, and frankly Gomes out there just about every day too. Dickerson would be great to have around getting spot starts and maybe getting 300-350 AB’s.

    No more Nix for me. He does have good power and plays nice defense, but we need to break our low OBP habit. Nix has a .300 OBP this year, .279 OBP on his career. That’s not good at all.

    I’d be fine with Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce, Dickerson, and either Balentien or Heisey.

  23. Dan

    I think it goes w/o saying that any competitive team and decent OF does not have Taveras in it — not even on the bench. We have enough OF’s who are at least reasonable offensive threats. Taveras needs to be traded or cut.

  24. mike

    one more thing on Stubbs.
    I couldn’t even remember the last Reds center fielder who hit near league average (not positional average, league average) and played great defense

    that’s close to what Stubbs is doing right now. 100 OPS+ (he actually goes below league average production when looking at better #s because he’s been caught stealing 3 times) and great defense

    looking at the last 10 years
    Patterson, Taveras, Bragg, Taylor, WMP, Rivera and Hopper all didn’t hit

    Hamilton was a below average to average defender in CF while with the Reds. It’s only this season he seem to have figured out how to play CF

    Griffey obviously hit well while here but his defense in CF was terrible.

    Encarnacion was a below average defender

    the only Reds CFers in the last 10 years I could come up with that hit for league average and played good defense are

    Freel didn’t hit in 2007 and 2008 but he did hit and play good CF defense in 2003 and 2006

    Cameron in 1999

  25. mike

    Dan: but we need to break our low OBP habit.

    Dan I 100% agree and I think the OBP point is a good one

    it seems to almost be team philosophy to “make contact” even if that means a ton of slow dribblers. Getting on base (aka, not making an out) is clearly not the priority.

    league average OBP is .331

    these are the Reds this season with below league average OBP. Note just how bad a lot of these #s are

    0.258 Alex Gonzalez
    0.273 Willy Taveras
    0.274 Darnell McDonald
    0.283 Jay Bruce*
    0.289 Adam Rosales
    0.293 Paul Janish
    0.300 Laynce Nix*
    0.305 Jerry Hairston
    0.305 Drew Stubbs
    0.328 Brandon Phillips

    and last years list of bad OBP Reds
    0.238 Corey Patterson*
    0.270 Paul Janish
    0.299 Paul Bako*
    0.300 Andy Phillips
    0.310 Jeff Keppinger
    0.310 Jolbert Cabrera
    0.312 Brandon Phillips
    0.314 Jay Bruce*
    0.326 Javier Valentin#

  26. Mike Martz

    Without Gomes who’s gonna wear the Sombrero? 😀

  27. pinson343

    I like Gomes, what would our offense have been like this year without him ? And what would our offense be like next year without him ?

    I’ve heard his defense called “brutal” (mostly many times by Mr. Redlegs) but that isn’t what I’ve seen. I’ve seen a guy with limited range who does catch what he gets to (even when he has to dive for it) and who has a strong (definitely) and accurate (from what I’ve seen) throwing arm.

    Kind of what you’d expect from a big power hitting LFer.

  28. pinson343

    preach: @mike: What are the asterisks for?

    Looks like the asterisks are for lefties, and the pound sign is for a switch hitter.

  29. doktor

    Gomes is gone. He has seen how he has been handled this year, even though he is hitting(18 hr in 260+ AB). Some team looking for righty DH-OF thumper for 400 AB will sign him to some decent $’s. Reds have young options to play or can find the next Gomes in free agency on the cheap if needed.

  30. David Kaiser

    anybody who thinks the reds will play any of the prospects in left field next year are sadly mistaken.they will find whatever washed up never has been veteran and sign him to a taveras contract and the reds will continue thier quest to to beat the pirates as the worst franchise in sports.

  31. Travis G.

    David Kaiser: they will find whatever washed up never has been veteran and sign him to a taveras contract.

    One could make a compelling case that signing Gomes to a two-year deal would be doing exactly that. He’s had a very good year, and had another one in Tampa Bay, but he’s a risky investment.

    I would, however, offer him arbitration and leave it at that. I’m more than fine with an OF of Gomes, Stubbs and Bruce next season, with Balentien and Dickerson as the bench guys. That’s a pretty solid and versatile bunch there.

  32. preach

    Travis G.: I would, however, offer him arbitration and leave it at that. I’m more than fine with an OF of Gomes, Stubbs and Bruce next season, with Balentien and Dickerson as the bench guys. That’s a pretty solid and versatile bunch there.

    I still hold out hope for Nix. He’s a good defender and power from the left side.

  33. Dan

    preach:
    I still hold out hope for Nix. He’s a good defender and power from the left side.

    He is that, but his OBP is brutal. .300 OBP this year, and something like .277 OBP for his career. That is, frankly, TERRIBLE.

    His power impressed me, but I don’t think we need him next year. I’d MUCH rather have Dickerson as our lefty OF off the bench.

  34. brublejr

    I really like what Gomes has done, but I would be weary of the contract year/career year type situation here. There is NO WAY I would give him more than one year deal over 1.5 – 2 mil. I think he is going to be hard pressed to find a starting job anywhere else either. I just don’t buy this is the real Gomes because of his past.

    Honestly I would be comfortable with a Bruce, Stubbs, Dickerson, Heisey, Balentin OF for next year, unless you pay for a stud.

    I too am about done with Nix. I like him, he plays good defense, he has nice pop and doubles, but he just can’t get on base enough. He has an extra base hit or an out. If he was closer to .350 OBP, he would be lots more valuable.

  35. brublejr

    GregD: It depends on if the bench needs pop.If the IF bench is going to be Rosales & Sutton, they may prefer to go with pop for the OF bench spots – Balentien/Nix.

    I don’t see how they can go with both of those guys, they are basically the same player. I think they need to find a cheap backup 1B that has some power for the last bench spot.

  36. Travis G.

    brublejr:I think they need to find a cheap backup 1B that has some power for the last bench spot.

    Gary Sheffield? (Kinda serious.)