UPDATE: The deal is now official. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Gomes will get $4 million.
8:36 p.m. ET: According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, the Braves and Jonny Gomes have agreed to a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2016. No word yet on the money involved.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com first reported word of the Braves’ interest on Tuesday. John Hart traded both Justin Upton and Jason Heyward this offseason, so Gomes will likely be used on the short side of a platoon with the switch-hitting Zolio Almonte in left field this season. That’s uh, underwhelming.
Gomes, 34, batted just .234/.327/.330 in 127 games last season between the Red Sox and Athletics. He’s an awful defender, but he still produces against left-handed pitching.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Braves have signed free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna to a one-year, $18 million contract.
Ozuna, 29, hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 89 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season. He’s been consistently above-average in each of the past four seasons, which also included a career year in 2017 in which he was worth 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference.
It is surprising that Ozuna, a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, had to settle for a one-year deal. The Braves are happy he did as he will help make up for some of the offense lost when third baseman Josh Donaldson became a free agent and ultimately signed with the Twins. Ozuna can become a free agent again after the 2020 season but won’t have qualifying offer compensation attached to him, part of the reason why his market may have been slow to develop.
Along with Ozuna, the Braves have signed in free agency this offseason reliever Will Smith, starter Cole Hamels, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. They re-signed relievers Chris Martin and Darren O'Day, catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Adeiny Hechavarría, and outfielder Nick Markakis.