UPDATE: It’s a done deal. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com says Gomes will get $1.1 million from the A’s.
Oakland is close to signing outfielder Jonny Gomes, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Gomes struggled to find work after hitting just .209 with 14 homers and a .714 OPS in 120 games for the Reds and Nationals last season and his poor defense, high strikeout totals, and inability to consistently handle right-handed pitching make him a poor fit as an everyday player.
However, as a part-timer used primarily against left-handed pitching he remains plenty useful, hitting a combined .298 with an .875 OPS off southpaws during the past three seasons.
Both of Oakland’s projected corner outfielders, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith, are left-handed hitters, and Smith’s track record versus lefties is certainly long enough and bad enough that platooning him with Gomes would make lots of sense.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.