The Atlanta Braves continued plugging holes for the 2015 season with the signing of outfielder Jonny Gomes to a one-year, $4 million deal with a vesting option.
Gomes, 34, had a rough 2014 hitting just .234/.327/.330 with eight doubles, six home runs, and 37 RBI over 112 games split between the Red Sox and Athletics.
Despite his struggles last season, Gomes can still crush left-handed pitching. He has a career .861 OPS versus southpaws and just a .721 OPS against right-handers. As such, it’s expected that Gomes will be part of a platoon in left field with Zoilo Almonte.
Gomes is regarded as a terrible defender by scouts, fans, the media, traditional stats, advanced defensive metrics, and blind people (probably) so he’ll likely give way to Almonte most days; despite being the better hitter of the pair.
Gomes is often referred to as a “good clubhouse guy” which – while nice – generally has a lot more to do with being in the right place at the right time. Mediocre-to-good players who are eccentric – or sometimes just loud – will earn the “good clubhouse guy” tag when they play on a winning team.
Gomes has certainly done that, having played for teams that made the postseason in five of the last seven seasons; including the last three seasons consecutively.
You’ll note that there are very few mentions of “good clubhouse guys” on losing teams. As such, don’t expect to hear too much about Gomes’ status in that regard this season.
The Braves are poised to be very bad in 2015 – and likely 2016 – after trading away Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Evan Gattis in preparation for a couple of lean years before the club moves into their shiny new ballpark – SunTrust Park – north of Atlanta in 2017.
How bad will the Braves be this year, you ask?
Well, as it currently stands, Gomes – along with Nick Markakis – is one of the club’s two most high-profile acquisitions of the offseason.
…or their trade for whatever is left of former top prospect Manny Baneulos.
So, uh, yeah…it should be a real fun couple of years for Braves fans.