UPDATE: Lauber is now reporting that the deal is in place.
Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox are “closing in on” a two-year deal with free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes, which might signal the end of their attempt to re-sign Cody Ross.
Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com wrote this morning that the Red Sox had narrowed their outfielder pursuit down to Ross and Gomes, and nearing an agreement with Gomes suggests Ross is drawing significant interest elsewhere and Boston perhaps decided he wasn’t worth paying a premium to retain.
Both players offer good right-handed power, but Ross is superior defensively and less of a liability versus right-handed pitching. Gomes played last season on a one-year, $1 million deal with the A’s and hit .262 with 18 homers and an .868 OPS in 99 games.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.