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.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.