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Sox "closing in on" Jonny Gomes


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#101 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:40 AM

It's hard to say who those guys are- they are more likely to be non-tenders, minor league free agents, or traded targets as opposed to major league free agents, and they are players that will sign in February, not November. Lets revisit this before the year starts, when we see what players sign or are acquired for.


What non-tender candidates, minor league free agents, or buy low trade candidates? Do you have any names, or just relying on a mythical player to buttress your argument?

#102 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:15 AM

Justin Ruggiano hit 313 / 374 / 535 last year. White Sox gave Viciedo a 4 year, $10M deal and he had a 1000+ OPS vs. lefties. Jesus Guzman was a FA who made $500k and hit lefties well in limited time last year. Ryan Ludwick made $2M last year, had an 877 OPS and drove in 80 runs. Justin Maxwell was claimed off waivers in April, and had an 892 OPS vs lefties in 100 AB. How about Reed Johnson?

The point is that these guys emerge every year, they are every year and a smart organization identifies them BEFORE they make $5M. GIving a list of names right now won't prove anything since many of the players will not get a chance this year, anyways.

If you really need a name, ask Bill James. Isn't this the kind of thing he does?

#103 j44thor

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:17 AM

Where is everyone getting this idea that Jonny Gomes is an OBP machine from? Besides last year he didn't have an OBP above .338 since his age 24 season in 2005. The floor for Jonny Gomes is a lot lower than people think. 2010 & 2011 saw him post OBP's of .327 & .325. If he reverts back to his career norm rather than his outlier age 31 season we could have Jason Bay circa 2010-2011.

Here is another interesting tidbit, the Red Sox will be paying Gomes $588,600 less next season than he has made in his entire MLB career. This is the very definition of buying high.

#104 TheoShmeo


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:22 AM

The price for Gomes does seem kind of high.

But the gap between whatever Gomes "should" have been paid and that for the next two years isn't going to make the difference between success or failure over that period. This isn't like last year when wasting money on Punto was ludicrous for many reasons but particularly because of how close they already were to the spending cap (and given that they'd dumped Scutaro for financial reasons).

Given that, the question in my view is less about money and more about whether Gomes will add value to the team or detract from it by taking up a roster spot and/or blocking young players who might have added to the roster. And my sense is that they don't have an excess of young major league ready OFers, and that having one player who can hit in the mix as a starter, platoon guy or 4th OFer/back-up DH isn't the worst thing for them. That he's supposedly good in the clubhouse isn't bad either given what's gone with this team over the past few years.

In short, I don't see getting too excited or too upset about this one.

#105 seantoo


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

Why would Gomes sign with Boston if he were told he'd be platooned and only hit against lefties? Other teams were interested in him, offering potentially more at-bats. I think we have to step back from the concept that Gomes (or Ross, for that matter) would be part of a strict platoon

It can happen anyway. The team can tell him anything they wanted to sign him, but the rest of the off-season and/or injuries can direct their intentions in others directions.

#106 bosockboy


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:41 AM

Defending the critics of this, it feels like we gave 2005 era Gabe Kapler a 2/10 deal.....a lot of money for a one dimensional player (and Kapler played strong defense.) And of course the age old argument---was there a team offering 2/8 that we had to outbid?

2/10 won't matter in the least....it's just the rationale and motivations behind it that are puzzling.

#107 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:29 AM

Justin Ruggiano hit 313 / 374 / 535 last year. White Sox gave Viciedo a 4 year, $10M deal and he had a 1000+ OPS vs. lefties. Jesus Guzman was a FA who made $500k and hit lefties well in limited time last year. Ryan Ludwick made $2M last year, had an 877 OPS and drove in 80 runs. Justin Maxwell was claimed off waivers in April, and had an 892 OPS vs lefties in 100 AB. How about Reed Johnson?

The point is that these guys emerge every year, they are every year and a smart organization identifies them BEFORE they make $5M. GIving a list of names right now won't prove anything since many of the players will not get a chance this year, anyways.

If you really need a name, ask Bill James. Isn't this the kind of thing he does?


So you have no clue. Glad we cleared that up. If the argument is going to be "The Sox could find the next hidden high upside player on the cheap instead of Jonny Gomes" then I naturally want to know who those hidden value players are. If not, then why even have a discussion at all? I think it is completely unfair to say that they should sign some mythical player that might do better on the cheap than Jonny Gomes, and then refuse to name that mythical player. That mythical player matters when it comes to comparing players and analyzing decision making.

Where is everyone getting this idea that Jonny Gomes is an OBP machine from? Besides last year he didn't have an OBP above .338 since his age 24 season in 2005. The floor for Jonny Gomes is a lot lower than people think. 2010 & 2011 saw him post OBP's of .327 & .325. If he reverts back to his career norm rather than his outlier age 31 season we could have Jason Bay circa 2010-2011.

Here is another interesting tidbit, the Red Sox will be paying Gomes $588,600 less next season than he has made in his entire MLB career. This is the very definition of buying high.


I'm not sure anybody in this thread has argued that Gomes in an OBP machine. Also, to compare him to his age 24 or 25 season is not apt, since he has made a clearly identifiable adjustment at the plate over the last two years. I think it is reasonable to expect that Gomes' wOBA will be what Bill James projects at .331. That is exactly average.

In terms of salary, the average MLB player made $3.44 million last year, and has been climbing. I cannot find an article with 2012 data, but the 2011 saw outfielders average $5.62 million per year. If we use the 4.1% salary increase from 2011 to 2012 that the CBS Sports article stated, then the average outfielder in 2012 made $5.85 in 2012. Even if we assume a 2% inflation from 2012 to 2013 for MLB salaries, then the average outfielder will be making $5.96 million in 2012. That gives you the idea of the market for players and outfielders. Gomes is expected to be a part time player, so his contract should be below the average, which it is. I think that given his defense, and the fact that he's only going to play part time (hopefully), he is an overpay by about $1 million a year. So, not a big deal. And with the absence of alternatives for cheaper, I don't really see a reason to get up in arms about the deal.

#108 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:38 AM

So, who is Gomes going to platoon with? Nava?

#109 Trlicek's Whip

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

So, who is Gomes going to platoon with? Nava?


Christ, stop sputtering and chasing your tail. I'll answer your hysterics with your own words:

It's hard to say who those guys are- they are more likely to be non-tenders, minor league free agents, or traded targets as opposed to major league free agents, and they are players that will sign in February, not November. Lets revisit this before the year starts, when we see what players sign or are acquired for.


There isn't a set order to who you sign and when, and how that reflects on the team's chances. There is also this tendency for the board to think of the GM machinations as linear and station to station instead of fluid, with what is likely many plates spinning. They needed an OF part. They got one. It doesn't mean Ben can't walk and chew gum at the same time. There is lots of winter left.


#110 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

The problem is the Red Sox signed a DH to play outfield. The line of reasoning that signing Jonny Gomes is a good idea because there aren't better options is a flawed one. First, we do not know the entire world of available players. Second, there are free agent outfielders who are much better players than Gomes. Namely Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, BJ Upton, Nick Swisher, Delmon Young, Angel Pagan, Ichiro, Shane Victorino, Ryan Ludwick, and Cody Ross.

The Red Sox should not be looking for "hidden value players". That line of thinking lead to them overpaying for Carl Crawford on the grounds that his defense made up for his lack of plate discipline. The Red Sox should be looking to sign good players who have valuable skill sets. How on earth do you improve the pitching staff with Jonny Gomes in the outfield? You don't.

It's not that this move damns the organization for years. It's not like they can't afford Jonny Gomes. Neither of those are legitimate concerns. What is a concern is that this move is more of the same. It's stupid. Stupid has ruled the day on Yawkey Way since 2007. Signing Jonny Gomes just confirms that nothing has changed.

The Boston Red Sox have failed, as an organization, to adjust to a world with PED testing. They've also failed to adjust to a world where other teams are as smart if not smarter than them.

Edited by Trautwein's Degree, 22 November 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#111 smastroyin


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

So you have no clue. Glad we cleared that up. If the argument is going to be "The Sox could find the next hidden high upside player on the cheap instead of Jonny Gomes" then I naturally want to know who those hidden value players are. If not, then why even have a discussion at all? I think it is completely unfair to say that they should sign some mythical player that might do better on the cheap than Jonny Gomes, and then refuse to name that mythical player. That mythical player matters when it comes to comparing players and analyzing decision making.


I think the point is more that the Sox have a lot of huge holes to fill before a marginal player like Gomes is a difference maker. People are defending this with the warm body argument but there are plenty of warm bodies around. But who cares about warm bodies? This is a team that could potentially compete with some help, but is not going to compete with placeholders filling all of the holes. So rather than signing a semi-known commodity who is a placeholder, why not try to identify some talent that is being undervalued.

Put it this way, I don't think the value prospect is bad on Gomes. He will probably be "worth" the contract which I don't think is bad. But I think I can identify with people who are concerned about the abilities of this front office if this is the kind of signing they are doing. In a vacuum, it's fine. And people who choose to analyze this in a vacuum are certainly welcome to do so. But overall it's puzzling. I would feel better if this were part of the "sign Josh Hamilton and Zach Greinke and go for it again"* plan. I don't feel very good about it as part of whatever plan they are going for.

* - I don't endorse this plan, just saying the Gomes signing would make more sense within it.

#112 g0wave

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

I remain perplexed reading the posts of may on this board over the past few years. This is a slight overpay on a 2 year deal with no loss of prospects in a weak OF market. The player hits well against lefties, has a very strong and respected clubhouse presence, and seems to be a player who will see his numbers improved at Fenway. Would you rather have seen 2/16 or 3/24 for Cody Ross? Really?

After 40 years of rooting for the sox, I'm glad to see them hitting this market with caution and with an eye to the future. The sky is falling! 2 years 10 million!!! OMG they overpaid by a couple million!! Thankfully the Sox GM doesn't waste his time reading this crap. Nice signing Ben. Rome was not built in a day.

#113 Sprowl


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:33 AM

I remain perplexed reading the posts of may on this board over the past few years. This is a slight overpay on a 2 year deal with no loss of prospects in a weak OF market. The player hits well against lefties, has a very strong and respected clubhouse presence, and seems to be a player who will see his numbers improved at Fenway. Would you rather have seen 2/16 or 3/24 for Cody Ross? Really?

After 40 years of rooting for the sox, I'm glad to see them hitting this market with caution and with an eye to the future. The sky is falling! 2 years 10 million!!! OMG they overpaid by a couple million!! Thankfully the Sox GM doesn't waste his time reading this crap. Nice signing Ben. Rome was not built in a day.


No, if the Red Sox insist on signing such a severely limited player as Gomes, I would rather have seen 1 year for $3 million, like Ross's 2012 contract. If Gomes has better offers elsewhere, then goodbye and good luck to him. 2/10 is not slight overpay, it is a ridiculous overpay. If the Red Sox are going to spend their money on mediocrities, I would have preferred a career minor leaguer of the Dwayne Hosey / Darnell McDonald mold -- at least that type of player can play a decent outfield.

Why two years for an aging bench player? Why clog the 2014 roster? If the Red Sox are going to be mediocre or worse in 2013 -- and Gomes will do nothing to change that scenario -- they should be mediocre with young players. I would prefer to see Kalish playing in LF than Gomes, regardless of Kalish's inept 2012 performance. Kalish has a reverse split and a future, not to mention an arm and a glove.

This signing smacks of money burning a hole in Cherington's pocket, or of nobody wanting to come to Boston without an overpay. Johnny Gomes is Brian Scalabrine in doubleknits.

#114 DeJesus Built My Hotrod


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:41 AM

Aside from whether they should have signed him or not given his skill set, the people here complaining about the price are either in possession of very good information or are just spouting off. For example, do we know if Gomes had other suitors for his services? What were they willing to pay? What would it take to sign other players to fill the same role etc? What Gomes made last year or over the entirety of his career is completely irrelevant information when trying to assess his value right now. And yet people are citing this data as if its meaningful.

I will take it on faith that the front office, at the very least, has a grasp of what is going on in the free agent market. And I suspect their information sources go beyond Twitter and planted pieces in the mainstream media. They may well have overpaid for Jonny Gomes but most, if not all of us, simply don't have the information to make that assessment.

Edited by DeJesus Built My Hotrod, 22 November 2012 - 10:46 AM.


#115 Koufax

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:45 AM

Jonny Gomes makes Brian Scalabrine look good, unless you are thinking about signing him now to fill the Darko void. I don't claim to be an expert on Jonny Gomes, but he appears to be a seriously flawed fringe player not worth anything close to what they are paying him. This one leaves me more depressed about the Sox than I was a week ago, when I sold off every one of my season tickets to third parties.

#116 Cellar-Door


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

Aside from whether they should have signed him or not given his skill set, the people here complaining about the price are either in possession of very good information or are just spouting off. For example, do we know if Gomes had other suitors for his services? What were they willing to pay? What would it take to sign other players to fill the same role etc? What Gomes made last year or over the entirety of his career is completely irrelevant information when trying to assess his value right now. And yet people are citing this data as if its meaningful.

I will take it on faith that the front office, at the very least, has a grasp of what is going on in the free agent market. And I suspect their informations sources go beyond Twitter and planted pieces in the mainstream media. They may well have overpaid for Jonny Gomes but most, if not all of us, simply don't have the information to make that assessment.

Only deal I know for sure is that he was offerred a 2 year $5M extension by the A's during last season and turned it down.

Not responding to your post... but...
Everyone was thrilled with Cody Ross at 1 year 3 million, and now some of those people want to re-sign him (at least 2 years likely 3 at 7-9 miilion) how is that a great deal and 2 years 10 million for almost the same player a terrible one. If Gomes continues his improved plate discipline then 5 million a year is a reasonable price. Do we really think that we are going to get 4 OF between now and the end of 2014 who make cutting Gomes necessary? Even if we resign Ells, Kalish blossoms, and Bradley Jr. makes incredible progress and is ready for 2014, and Jerry Sands blossoms as well.... we still could use a lefty mashing OF to platoon in left.

Edited by Cellar-Door, 22 November 2012 - 10:57 AM.


#117 FanSinceBoggs

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:53 AM

I like this move, it suggests that the Red Sox are placing less emphasis on defensive metrics, something that has arguably hurt them over the last few seasons in player evaluation (the Carl Crawford contract, for example).

Apart from the fact that Gomes excels against lefties, he demonstrated above average plate discipline last year, something that the Red Sox need to get back to. Swisher would be a nice addition in this regard as well if they can get him for the right price (I wouldn't go 4 years on Swisher though).

Edited by FanSinceBoggs, 22 November 2012 - 10:56 AM.


#118 OnWisc

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:57 AM

The outrage here is really perplexing. Ross is stated to want three years at over $20 million. Ross is an average defender who only hits well at Fenway Park. He is absolutely awful on the road. The good is that he's great at Fenway and crushes lefties. But last year that accounted for a grand total of 150 PA (against LHP - no clue about LHP at Fenway Park). The rest of his 378 PA against righties saw a paltry .729 OPS (.308/.422). He is like a quarter time platoon player who wants to play and get paid like a full time player.

Gomes is a player who will hit well at Fenway (though, not Ross well), and hit well on the road. He will get schooled by RHP, but crush LHP. But, the difference is that there is no expectation that he will start, and will most likely be happy with a platoon. He is also being paid like a platoon player to boot. $5 million a year is nothing to fret about.

Some other nice things about Gomes is that he has posted elite walk rates his last two years of 12.9% and 13.2%. One of the troubling trends we've seen in the past three years is the propensity of the FO to shy away from high walk players. There is evidence that this boost in walk rate is because of an adjustment in plate approach:

J Gomes Plate Discipline
Jonny Gomes PitchFX Plate Discipline
Year O-Swing Z-Swing BB%
2008 34.20% 63.60% 8.50%
2009 31.40% 64.50% 8.40%
2010 35.00% 68.50% 6.80%
2011 24.50% 50.40% 12.90%
2012 24.90% 50.50% 13.20%


Starting in 2011 he started swinging a lot less both inside and outside the zone. More selectivity at the plate most likely resulted in more walks, as evidenced by the jump in walk rates. I think one of the big positives is that an aging player adjusted his approach to stay in the league longer. The only thing we don't know is what his true performance is over these last two years. His BABIP was unusually low in 2011 at .259, while unsustainably high in 2012 at .348. I actually think Bill James projections for him are about right, which make Gomes an average player at getting on base - not bad for $5 million a year.

Two things jump out at me as things to be concerned about. The first is his decline in contact rate. The second is his high strikeout rate. Both are concerning, and bear watching. If Gomes is used as a platoon by Farrell then he'll be fine and I like the signing - he gets on base, has good power, and crushes lefties.

Edit: Cleaned up last sentence.

Did you see my earlier post? He has changed his plate approach drastically to be more selective at the plate, resulting in more walks. Those will come in handy especially if his contact rate continues to fall. Bill James projects his BABIP to be .305 which is reasonable, and his wOBA to be .331, which is average. Again, I think that is a fair wOBA to project for Gomes, who is a lower average/high walk player now.

Plus, you didn't answer my question. Who are those available replacement players "with upside" that you wanted Ben to sign on the cheap?


I agree that this is the key thing to look at from an offensive perspective. As far as his plate approach, Gomes has essentially become an entirely different player in 2011, and carried that over into 2012. The difference between the outcomes in the two years can, as indicated, be reasonably attributed to the 100 point difference in BABIP, as well as the 20.5% HR/FB rate in 2012 vs 13.7% in 2011. James seems to be more or less splitting the difference in the past two seasons, which seems reasonable given Gomes history is all over the board there. The drop in Z-contact is a little concerning. Perhaps it's attributable to a more swing-for-the fences approach which manifested itself in the higher HR/FB rate, and that in 2013, either the Z-contact rate will rebound, or the HR/FB rate won't regress into the low teens. But any meaningful correlation on that last part is probably wishful thinking.

My initial reaction to this was mild disgust, but had it been 2/$6 or 2/$8, I don't think I'd have a problem. So the marginal difference to 2/$10 probably doesn't warrant getting too upset over. While the degree to which Gomes ultimately contributes is questionable, I don't see the money we've committed to Gomes as being the factor that prevents the club from making a key signing or salary adding trade somewhere down the line. It really doesn't put us out of the running for any current or potential deals. As far as blocking someone who could contribute equally for a lesser amount, that's somewhat irrelevant given the club's current payroll. As far as blocking someone who could contribute more for the same amount or less, that argument gets easier when a specific player can be pointed to instead of a hypothetical. I haven't looked into it, but you could probably put together a list of players available for less some of whom will ultimately produce more in 2013. But unless you can point to a specific player already in the system or readily obtainable, I'm not sure that's the argument to make (despite the fact that it was essentially my initial reaction).

Edited by OnWisc, 22 November 2012 - 11:01 AM.


#119 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

Where is everyone getting this idea that Jonny Gomes is an OBP machine from?


Any reference that gives you splits. He's an OBP machine vs. LHP.

You refer to his mediocre 2010/11 numbers. In 2010 his OBP vs. LHP was .378; in 2011, .407. Aside from 2008, a lost year when he made only eight starts after the ASB (injury?), Gomes' worst season OBP vs. LHP since he began getting regular playing time is .369. His career number is .382.

If you try to evaluate Gomes as a full-time player, he looks mediocre. If you evaluate him as a platoon player, he looks like about one third of an outstanding hitter with poor OF defense--and $15M is about what that guy costs. How successful this move is will depend partly on what the rest of the OF looks like, particularly whoever turns out to be Gomes' platoon partner.

A reasonable question, and possibly a tough one for Ben to answer, is whether it really makes sense for a team with a four-man bench to give one of those spots to a guy whose sole function is to serve as the short end of an outfield platoon. At the very least, one might argue, that guy should be a good defender. I'm guessing Ben thinks what Gomes brings personality-wise is worth it, but it's a valid criticism.

First, we do not know the entire world of available players. Second, there are free agent outfielders who are much better players than Gomes. Namely Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, BJ Upton, Nick Swisher, Delmon Young, Angel Pagan, Ichiro, Shane Victorino, Ryan Ludwick, and Cody Ross.


Are you seriously suggesting that we signed Gomes instead of Hamilton or Swisher?

A lot of the comments here seem to reflect either or both of two thoroughly bizarre assumptions: (1) that the order acquisitions are made in reflects their importance to the FO's strategy; (2) that if we sign one guy, that means we don't intend to get some other guy.

This latter assumption makes sense only when you're talking about guys who would fill essentially the same role. Signing Gomes means we're probably not signing Ross, Ludwick, or Young. Looking at those three....

Ross is a better player than Gomes, but apparently was holding out for three years, probably at an AAV of $8M or more. I suspect the FO sees him as a platoon or semi-platoon player, and they decided they might as well go for the cheaper guy for that role.

Ludwick is two years older and a likely regression candidate, having just had his best offensive season in several years. And while he's a better OF than Gomes he's no longer a very good one. And we have no way of knowing if he would have been willing to come here for a part-time role.

Young? Delmon Young? 'Scuse me while I wipe the coffee off my monitor. Delmon Young isn't better than Jonny Gomes at anything, except perhaps being a douche. Gomes has chunks of Delmon Young in his stool. Probably literally.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 22 November 2012 - 11:05 AM.


#120 j44thor

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:11 AM

I would rather they not have signed him because he does nothing meaningful this season, but if they are going to sign him couldn't they have given him more this year and turned the 2nd year into a team option with say a 1M buyout? Gomes just screams mediocre to me and this is exactly the type of signing I expect a team like the Royals to make.

Gomes is going to be a very expensive PH in 2014 which is the only role he should fill if the team is going to compete. It is also worth discussing what his role will be if his hitting reverts to career norms. I understand that he has made some changes to his approach at the plate but pitchers may start to pitch him differently as well. If he can't adjust he literally has zero value to this team besides the dreaded "clubhouse leadership".

#121 YTF

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

Good signing/bad signing aside.........I know they are just words, but I never thought of Gomes as the type of player that any team would be "closing in on". I know that you gotta fill out a roster and every team needs a decent role player or two, but the phrase "closing in on" conjures up the idea that some incredible conquest is about to happen.

#122 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:53 AM

For those saying the Red Sox haven't learned anything, what are you basing that on? Aren't these exactly the kind of moves they should be making if their previous approach was a mistake? Wasn't the conventional wisdom around here that trading away the farm for players in the middle of or near the end of their prime and signing huge money long term contracts was what led to a bloated roster that cost a fortune and couldn't make the playoffs? How is a short term puntable contract for a 4th or 5th outfielder evidence that they haven't learned anything?

The hysteria over this signing is ridiculous, IMO.

#123 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:55 AM

They've also failed to adjust to a world where other teams are as smart if not smarter than them.

Maybe it's we the fans that haven't adjusted to the fact that other teams are at least as smart.

People keep advocating that the Red Sox go out and find someone with "hidden value." That is becoming harder and harder to find as teams are becoming smarter. That's also why (at least my take) why the Red Sox decided to go all-in on defensive metrics with results of which we are all aware.

I'm happy with the signing. Sure it would have been great to get him for 2/$6 or 2/$8 but for this year and next, to you and I (and likely Ben) $6M and $10M are pretty much the same. I mean it's not tip money, but it's close. I'm just happy to have him at 2 years rather than Ross at 3 years.

Speaking of which, if I remember correctly, it seemed like the board's consensus value for Ross was something like 3/$21M. If Ross is worth even 3/$18M and Ross and Gomes are pretty much the same player, why is Gomes not worth 2/$10M?

It would also make me kind of happy - as someone said above - if the Red Sox move away from the emphasis on defense and back to an emphasis on controlling the strike zone.

#124 FelixMantilla


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

if Gomes had signed this contract with another team, SoSH would be laughing themselves silly.

But I'd still rather have Gomes for two years than Ross for three.

#125 Rasputin


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:02 PM

I don't understand why people find this difficult to understand.

The team is trying to compete in 2013.

The team has the high end talent to compete if that high end talent performs as it has before.

The team is utterly lacking in the marginally competent role players that win games by being average or marginally better.

In order to fill those slots, the Sox need to find cheap, disposable players who have some skills but are willing to sign short term short money contracts.

Gomes fits that definition almost perfectly. As has been mentioned, if you platoon him with Nava in left you've got pretty solid production that leans towards getting on base which, I think most of you will recall, has been an area of weakness lately.

And if, by seasons end, Kalish and JBJ have forced themselves onto the roster by sheer awesomeness then you can stick him in a reserve role or dump him entirely because he's making chump change.

It's not an exciting deal. The Sox shouldn't be making exciting deals. This is the kind of deal the Sox should be making for right field and first base as well.

Edited by Rasputin, 22 November 2012 - 12:04 PM.


#126 ElcaballitoMVP

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

On a 2 year deal, this really isn't going to hurt the team's long-term plans at all. If Gomes sucks this year and isn't deserving of starting in LF next year, you've got yourself a power-hitting PH on a 1 year, $5M deal. That's not going to hamstring them one bit, and it's also an incredibly easy contract to move if they decide they're done with him. You've also got yourself one of the better clubhouse guys in the league, which should help as we bring up the youngsters from the farm over the next 2 seasons. He can help take away some of the pressure of playing in Boston on these guys (much like Millar did back in the day) and help keep that clubhouse united and having some fun. He's also a guy who knows he's not a full-time player. He's not going to create a shit storm if he isn't in the lineup every day (unlike other part-time guys like Shoppach we've had in the past).

I would've like to have seen 2/8 or lower, or even a 1 year deal with a team or mutual option, but who knows what other offers were out there. This contract could very well prove to be an overpay compared to whatever else he was offered, but on short years and small money, these are the kind of overpays that we can afford as we fill out the roster without sacrificing the long-term picture. This deal won't prevent us from picking up a Josh Hamilton in free agency or targeting a Justin Upton on the trade market.

#127 DeJesus Built My Hotrod


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:07 PM

I would rather they not have signed him because he does nothing meaningful this season, but if they are going to sign him couldn't they have given him more this year and turned the 2nd year into a team option with say a 1M buyout? Gomes just screams mediocre to me and this is exactly the type of signing I expect a team like the Royals to make.

Gomes is going to be a very expensive PH in 2014 which is the only role he should fill if the team is going to compete. It is also worth discussing what his role will be if his hitting reverts to career norms. I understand that he has made some changes to his approach at the plate but pitchers may start to pitch him differently as well. If he can't adjust he literally has zero value to this team besides the dreaded "clubhouse leadership".


While your concerns about Gomes the player are valid, I don't know where you are coming from on the contract - you seem to imply that the Red Sox overpaid in terms of dollars and years. What information are you basing it on? Do you think Gomes would agree to the terms you proposed above and that the Sox failed in minimizing the cost here? I am truly interested in how you arrived at this conclusion.

#128 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

The basis seems to be Ross at 1/3 last year, which is irrelevant since it is neither 2011 nor the same free agent market Ross signed in. There is value in locking up a league average player early in the off season when you only have one major league outfielder ready to play going into the winter meetings. It's been pointed out repeatedly that Gomes can be shifted to the bench very easily or even traded or cut if need be later in the season should a prospect or young player like Kalish force a decision. This deal does not prevent them from going out and signing someone or several someones better. This deal does not block any of the kids. It's roster filler that takes a very weak bargaining position which Ben had been in, and makes it a little less weak before going into the meetings and talking with other GMs about ways to improve the outfield further.

If this deal is what sinks the 2013 Red Sox, the team has bigger problems to worry about than 2/10 for a bench player who plays poor defense. If it sinks the 2014 team, then there is a huge organizational failing as it pertains to scouting and player development. If this is the only move Ben tries to make to improve the outfield this winter, I could understand some outrage. Not everyone agrees that it is OK to quietly punt 2013 while talking up the kids and claiming to believe the team is competitive in order to develop the farm for another year. That's a valid point of contention and a disagreement there probably isn't a right or wrong side of. But we are so far away from that point that I just can't understand how people can get this upset about a roster filler move.

#129 fineyoungarm


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

For those saying the Red Sox haven't learned anything, what are you basing that on? Aren't these exactly the kind of moves they should be making if their previous approach was a mistake? Wasn't the conventional wisdom around here that trading away the farm for players in the middle of or near the end of their prime and signing huge money long term contracts was what led to a bloated roster that cost a fortune and couldn't make the playoffs? How is a short term puntable contract for a 4th or 5th outfielder evidence that they haven't learned anything?

The hysteria over this signing is ridiculous, IMO.


I'm on board with you Snod. This may be an overpayment (or a major league average payment) - but an acceptable one for a team (with lots of cash) to guarantee a second major league caliber (platoon) player, who kills lefties, in the OF. If it is an overpayment, and Gomes OPS drops to the .700 or whatever range for some reason, the damage will be of limited duration. If his defense becomes unacceptable, DH him, while Ortiz is almost certainly on the DL next season (or you know whats).

So hysterics need not apply. Deal done. Move on. "Hiring" Gomes in no way impedes the team's ability to sign a FA game changer - including someone to play the OF - putting aside the Q of whether such a player even exists and can be had for "fair" money.

Having written that, the non-hysterics, who argue against this move (you know who you are) well put into relief the larger team issues that we all recognize. Is there really yout' in this organization, who will soon emerge to provide success as we continue to see with "certain" teams? If not, is the FO of the caliber to locate and sign/trade for that young guy, who flourishes as a difference maker? That remains to be seen.

#130 E5 Yaz


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

Isn't the only "major" free agent to have signed thus far Torii Hunter? In Gomes and Ross, the Red Sox have picked up to of the better thought-of roles players available. They "paid too much" for Gomes, but it doesn't matter unless it hurts them from filling out the roster through the post-season.

If the Red Sox has addressed the major hole first and signed Gomes to this later on, no one would blink an eye.

#131 fineyoungarm


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:14 PM

Isn't the only "major" free agent to have signed thus far Torii Hunter? In Gomes and Ross, the Red Sox have picked up to of the better thought-of roles players available. They "paid too much" for Gomes, but it doesn't matter unless it hurts them from filling out the roster through the post-season.

If the Red Sox has addressed the major hole first and signed Gomes to this later on, no one would blink an eye.


The targeted rhetorical question strikes again. What was paid for Gomes and "Not Cody" Ross will not prevent the team (for $$$ reasons) from signing any "star" FA (or FAs) worthy of serious consideration.

#132 67WasBest


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

Isn't the only "major" free agent to have signed thus far Torii Hunter? In Gomes and Ross, the Red Sox have picked up to of the better thought-of roles players available. They "paid too much" for Gomes, but it doesn't matter unless it hurts them from filling out the roster through the post-season.

If the Red Sox has addressed the major hole first and signed Gomes to this later on, no one would blink an eye.


This assumes the team controls when players sign and that is rarely the case.

#133 E5 Yaz


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

This assumes the team controls when players sign and that is rarely the case.


Umm, I have no idea what your comment has to do with mine.

All I'm saying is that the bizarrely anguished reaction to the Gomes signing wouldn't be present had a similar signing taken place after the Red Sox had made what those anguished considered to be more pressing acquisitions.

#134 MikeM

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

It can happen anyway. The team can tell him anything they wanted to sign him, but the rest of the off-season and/or injuries can direct their intentions in others directions.


It *can* happen, sure. But it rarely does, and is a bad business practice to boot. Regardless, and after spending the night fully digesting the potential logic in play here, i'm doubting my initial concern there.

So i think i am ok with this signing, with the slight overpay simply boiling down to a general matter of beggars can't always be choosers, and sometimes needing to go the extra meter to get the fit you want at the price range you find reasonable. Basically leaving us paying a little extra to get the guy who would be on board with the concept of playing here in a platoon role, and who combined with Kalish (who i am not really that big on to begin with, but whatever), presented us with a more offensively oriented option/solution in LF.

Moving on to the next of many holes that needs filling....

(reminding myself that David Ortiz is 37 and just missed half a season isn't hurting on some level here either, fwtw)

#135 knucklecup


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:39 PM

Umm, I have no idea what your comment has to do with mine.

All I'm saying is that the bizarrely anguished reaction to the Gomes signing wouldn't be present had a similar signing taken place after the Red Sox had made what those anguished considered to be more pressing acquisitions.


I agree. Gomes adds an element to the team that not many other players provide, at least at his level. Reed Johnson for instance is chump change in comparison - I've watched him as a Cub lately and he's not a good player.

The mere fact that we won't be the team that gives Cody Ross 3 years/$24 million in and of itself makes this signing a winner.

#136 OCD SS


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

My read on signing Gomes, after they didn't trade Ross at the deadline with the idea of working out an extension, is that the FO see's both players as filling a specific roll (platoon OFer), but that Ross doesn't see himself filling that roll, and Gomes is fine with it.

The salary feels a bit high to me, but I also keep thinking back to the Tigers early signing of VMart. Everyone was a bit shocked when he wasn't signing to catch, but it looked a lot more reasonable at the end of that off-season. Every team (except the Yankees) have more money to spend in the new financial landscape. I'd rather Ben add an extra $1M/ yr to get his player signed so it isn't a hindrance to later moves. If you play chess, you know you have to have a solid pawn structure to start the game...

#137 seantoo


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

Gomes was filler as recently as last year. The Sox have zero major league ready talent that can play corner outfield so they have to give Gomes 10M. Ridiculous, but as long as they can keep feeding people the belief that hope is right around the corner, they'll sell tickets. At what point so we recognize Cherington is a terrible GM? These moves, coupled with the rumors of being in on any and very player available, looks to me like a team that is doing just enough to make it look like its trying.


As a veteran Sox fan and I'm assuming fairly intelligent why are we over-reacting year and and year out to the pawn moves at the beggining of this chess game?
Wether or not Ben makes good moves by the end of the cold stove season is regardless. These (Ross and Gomes) lesser moves are what should be done before the larger moves are made. That is regardless of wether you are on board with them or not (my two cents is that's it's an overpay but an acceptable one) if the larger moves are solid. Wait and see before panicking. Stay calm folks there are many more cold stove days ahead and the off-season has just begun.

#138 Edelpeddle

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:10 PM

Theoretically, this could work out well for us. We can mitigate his terrible defense by playing him in left field at Fenway Park. He is a guy who's played almost his entire career in pitcher's parks and has gotten more selective over the years. As long as we use him selectively, and don't use him in 150 games I think he'll be a good roleplayer for us. Maybe I'm reading too much in to this because he's the first significant players we've added this year (as opposed to retainining), but he would make a great backup/platoon mate for Alex Gordon or Shin-Shoo Choo (or Seth Smith or Jason Kubel).

#139 maufman


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:32 AM

Folks, there's a reason why the Dodgers were willing to take those contracts off our hands, and why the Jays were willing to swing a similar deal with the Marlins -- there's too much money chasing too little talent these days. When I look at what guys like Torii Hunter, Jeremy Guthrie, and Brandon League have gotten, 2/10 for Jonny Gomes sounds about right.

This signing is one that can only be assessed in relation to the club's other moves. The argument against this deal, I think, is that with so many holes to fill in an overheated FA market, the Sox probably need to rely on internal options to fill at least one of those holes. Given the choice between accepting a Nava/Sands platoon in left and Iglesias as the everyday shortstop, I'd opt for the former. But it's way too early to tell if something like that is an either/or proposition, so I'm on the fence.

#140 Drek717

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:53 AM

Why are people upset that we got a slightly better hitting, worse defensive Cody Ross?
We don't need to go scrounging for young guys with hypothetical higher ceilings but lower floors, we already have them in Kalish, Sands etc.
What we needed was a guy who we knew wouldn't suck against lefties and could get on base.
The idea that we should go looking for a Daniel Nava (we have him, he's the shittier lefty Jonny Gomes) or Pedro Ciriaco (a AAAA player) Makes no sense to me, those guys best case scenario is as good as Gomes maybe a tiny bit better, their downside is greater. Do we really think with our payroll that it is vital to save the $3-4 million and put a worse team on the field?


This post makes a good point. We have all the young lottery tickets a team can stomach in the OF, we need some guys with quantifiable production.

For young OFs we have Kalish and Sands who have both spent a good deal of time in AAA and are knocking on the door.

For late 20's break out types we have Nava, Juan Carlos Linares, and the recently signed Mitch "King of Omaha" Maier who might one day translate his .290's/.340's BA/OBP line from AAA to MLB.

Ryan Sweeney is still currently under organizational control as a 4th/5th OF option if they'd rather send Kalish and Sands to AAA for one more season and need a good glove.

The team has plenty of lottery tickets kicking around. What they need are starters, or at least a way to manufacture starter level production. It was once again proven that a LHP masher who's swing is tailor made to beat up the Monster has real value for this team, but not at "real starter" money or years which is what Cody Ross is now hunting for.

The Monster really should be Gomes' best friend. At home it not only amplifies his biggest offensive strength (dead pull hitter), but it also suppresses his biggest weakness (defensive range). With 81 games in LF Jonny Gomes could EASILY earn his $5M a year. He can platoon with Nava or Kalish, whoever is looking better through spring training.

The big question now is what are they going to do in RF. Worst case scenario we see a Gomes/Nava LF tandem and a Kalish/Linares RF tandem. Not very good.

In FA they could go after Swisher or Hamilton. Via trade there are a lot of possibilities, most notably long time Red Sox crush Justin Upton.

Edited by Drek717, 23 November 2012 - 07:54 AM.


#141 jacklamabe65


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:01 AM

It's all about 2014 and '15, pure and simple.

This is a Dom Demeter signing, period. Not every free agent signing has to be a splash.

#142 Drek717

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:31 AM

It's all about 2014 and '15, pure and simple.

This is a Dom Demeter signing, period. Not every free agent signing has to be a splash.

Why do you say that?

Obviously they aren't going for broke like they did in 2011. I'd say that's a good thing. But the wild card is in reach of any team who gets on a good role with the new playoff system in place, and the division isn't out of the question with luck on the Red Sox side.

The success of the Red Sox is entirely tied to their starting pitching. Can Lester return to form, can Buchholz stay healthy, can Lackey be anything like LAAoA Lackey for the Red Sox even one season, and can some of the young guys step up (Doobie, Ruby, Barnes, Webster, Owens, maybe Ranaudo gets his shit back together).

What that says to me is that short of a major trade/FA acquisition I don't see how this team suddenly becomes competitive in 2014 or maybe even 2015 for that matter without at least one, probably both, of Lester and Buchholz meeting the previously stated demand.

Why are they more likely to do that in 2014 or 2015 than 2013? If those two guys fail to bounce back this franchise is in a hard place for a few years, not one year. If they do bounce back this team could already be competitive in 2013.

Gomes giving a .860 or better OPS for 1/3rd of the LF question is a perfectly fine part of any team's build. Maybe as some suggested above he's paired with Choo or Gordon and then we have very strong LF production. Maybe he's paired with Kalish and we see a net ~.800 OPS LF with good defense (thanks to Gomes doing minimal damage at home and Kalish being a standout LF on the road). That's well within the range of production a contender would expect from either corner OF position.

Honestly, the FO should basically proceed going forward as though Lester will be the 2011 version and Buchholz will be an average between the 2010 and 2012 versions. If those two pan out then they've built a team capable of winning with those two as the front line starters. If they don't this team is properly screwed for a couple of seasons going forward.

So why be shy on spending money as long as they guys getting it will take 2 or 3 year deals? If Lester and Buch work out these guys will fill out a competitive roster and if not they'll all be off the books by the time this team is truly ready to compete again anyhow.

Edited by Drek717, 23 November 2012 - 08:33 AM.


#143 mabrowndog


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:07 AM

If they officially announce the Gomes signing before December 6, the Sox are going to have to DFA someone from the 40-man and risk losing said player in the Rule 5 draft. So I'm betting there's a wink-wink agreement to hold off.

#144 bosockboy


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:16 AM

For all of Nava's faults, he got on base at a .383 clip from the left side while Gomes was at .413 from the right. That's a pretty solid platoon sitting at the bottom of the lineup for 5-6 million total.

#145 SMU_Sox


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

This talk of salaries is interesting. I was at a recent lecture by Thad Levine and he keyed in on something. Yes, the average salary in 2012 was around 3.4m but the median salary was around 1.4m. The reason for this is because there are fat tails on both sides. Yes, the first six years of player cost-control is a large part of that, but finding journeymen with one or two good skills for the major league minimum is the other part. One of the ways to create an arbitrage situation is find a middle-ground player for the lower end of that cost spectrum instead of overpaying for someone who is not a full-time starter. BC has done the latter now twice.
SSA, the mythical player argument is legit but you have to keep in mind before 2010 which poster would be able to readily point to a guy like Darnell McDonald as someone the Sox should sign. We simply do not know enough to identify players like him. So while I appreciate what you are saying it's hard to hold a mere poster to that standard. Granted I'm sure hearing the mythical player argument is about as fruitful as listening to a Browns fan wishing they would just call the TD play more often.

Edited by SMU_Sox, 23 November 2012 - 10:51 AM.


#146 DeJesus Built My Hotrod


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:16 PM

This talk of salaries is interesting. I was at a recent lecture by Thad Levine and he keyed in on something. Yes, the average salary in 2012 was around 3.4m but the median salary was around 1.4m. The reason for this is because there are fat tails on both sides. Yes, the first six years of player cost-control is a large part of that, but finding journeymen with one or two good skills for the major league minimum is the other part. One of the ways to create an arbitrage situation is find a middle-ground player for the lower end of that cost spectrum instead of overpaying for someone who is not a full-time starter. BC has done the latter now twice.
SSA, the mythical player argument is legit but you have to keep in mind before 2010 which poster would be able to readily point to a guy like Darnell McDonald as someone the Sox should sign. We simply do not know enough to identify players like him. So while I appreciate what you are saying it's hard to hold a mere poster to that standard. Granted I'm sure hearing the mythical player argument is about as fruitful as listening to a Browns fan wishing they would just call the TD play more often.


Once again the term "overpay" is used. What data do you have that suggests this is an overpay? Do you know what all other interested teams were willing to pay for Gomes' services? Do you know what his true walk-away price was (i.e. the price at which he would stop negotiating with the Red Sox)? What contracts have been signed this offseason for players that compare closely to Gomes?

The average and median salaries are interesting but there are lots of factors that influence them (e.g. position of the player, agency, marketability). Furthermore, they don't tell us much about whether a player is "overpaid" whatever that means. I am of the mind that the average baseball fan simply doesn't have enough information to determine the market value of a player. However I welcome arguments to the contrary.

Edited by DeJesus Built My Hotrod, 23 November 2012 - 12:17 PM.


#147 SMU_Sox


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

I don't know what other teams were bidding for him. But what if the Sox paid 3/20m? Yeah I wouldn't know what other teams had bid, or his walk-away price was, but I would know it is an overpay.

This is a guy who has offensive upside as a platoon player but is a terrible defender. Is that worth 5m? Let me get back to you on similar players.

#148 knucklecup


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

We really only have two comparisons to make because the 2011 market isn't the same as this winters.

Torii Hunter signed for 2 years and $26 million dollars. Cody Ross is rumored to be seeking 3 years and $24 million.

Gomes at 2 years and $10 million seems pretty fair, given the comparisons we have currently. And if we partner him up properly, we could be looking at a $10 million dollar or less platoon that is getting $15-$20 million dollar value.

I'm all for this signing and am eager to see what's next...

#149 mabrowndog


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

If they officially announce the Gomes signing before December 6, the Sox are going to have to DFA someone from the 40-man and risk losing said player in the Rule 5 draft. So I'm betting there's a wink-wink agreement to hold off.


Correction: The non-tender deadline is Dec 2, so Gomes can fill a vacancy then.

#150 Green Monster

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

With the signing of David Ross, Jonny Gomes, and their reported interest in Tori Hunter it appears that the Sox have placed a value on strong clubhouse prescense/leadership. This coupled with the end of year ouster of guys like Shoppach and Beckett indicate that the FO is serious about improving a clubhouse environment that should have been addressed earlier. While these guys might not be big splash type aquisitions they may just be the critical veteran leadership needed for the young talent on the horizon (Bogarts, Barnes, Bradley, Brentz, etc.)




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