Last season Jonny Gomes hit .267/.338/.541 with 20 homers in 314 plate appearances as a part-time player and the Reds non-tendered him prior to arbitration, re-signing him to a one-year, $800,000 deal with a team option for 2011.
This season Gomes hit .266/.327/.431 with 18 homers in 571 plate appearances as a full-time player, watching his OPS drop by 121 points, and general manager Walt Jocketty said yesterday that the Reds “probably will” exercise their $1.75 million to bring him back.
I’m not sure how that series of events really makes any sense, but as a right-handed hitter with a .790 career OPS and 25 homers per 500 at-bats Gomes is worth $1.75 million in 2011. He shouldn’t be an everyday player again, because his defense is awful in left field and he’s always struggled against right-handed pitching, but even for merely a platoon player and bench bat to knock around southpaws that’s a reasonable salary.
Plus, just having his hair and fashion sense on the team is likely worth a few hundred thousand bucks a year.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.