Blue Jays an unlikely fit for Carlos Gomez
The recent spat of injuries to the outfield in Toronto is a cause for concern, even if it’s just for the short term.
On Wednesday night, the Blue Jays started an outfield of Melvin Upton Jr. in centre, Michael Saunders in right, and Darrell Ceciliani in left. While each player brings value to the club in different ways, nobody wants to see this trio in the lineup down the stretch.
However, for the short term that’s likely what the Jays are going to roll with. The first-place team in the AL East currently has three outfielders on the DL in Kevin Pillar (thumb), Ezequiel Carrera (achilles), and Jose Bautista (knee sprain).
Carrera has just begun a rehab assignment and the Jays are hopeful he can return on August 16th when he’s eligible to return from the DL. Pillar is eligible to return on August 23rd and isn’t expected to need a rehab assignment. Bautista will be eligible on the 25th and is also hopeful that he can come straight back to the club.
While all three players are due back relatively soon, this isn’t exactly the portion of the season that you want to stitch together a lineup. The Blue Jays do currently sit in first place in the AL East, but with both the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox right on their heels, there isn’t much room for a two week hiccup.
With that in mind, the Twitter-verse has been alive with suggestions for the Blue Jays and how to fix their current situation.
Hey, maybe the Jays could grab Carlos Gomez and Tim Tebow?
Ok, back to my point.
Now that we’re past the August 1st non-waiver trade deadline, many teams are testing the waters with the waiver wire and their underperforming players, as they do every August. There has also been a few clubs cutting ties with players altogether through the DFA process, as is the case with the aforementioned Carlos Gomez of the Houston Astros. Obviously a similar situation has taken place with Alex Rodriguez, Tim Lincecum and more.
Carlos Gomez sticks out as a player who might make sense as an addition for the playoff stretch. Still only 30, this is a player who was an All-Star in 2013-14, and hit 23 home runs and stole 34 bases in 2014 while playing solid centre-field defence. He received MVP votes just a season and a half ago.
But here’s the thing….. he’s really, REALLY struggled this year.
Gomez finished his season with the Astros with a line of .210/.272/.322 with just 5 home runs and and 29 RBI over 323 plate appearances. His defence has taken a step back and he struck out a whopping 100 times against just 21 walks. He did have 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts, but other than that it’s been an all-around disaster in 2016.
The Astros aren’t in the position they want to be, but they’re far from written off in the playoff race. If they felt that Gomez has something to offer their club, they would have kept him around. Their options to replace him are Colby Rasmus (who is currently on the DL), or Jake Marisnick, who has struggled greatly. It’s not like the Astros are moving Gomez to make room for a stud prospect who needs a shot. They’re simply just cutting dead weight.
With any acquisition of this nature, it’s entirely possible that Gomez could join the Blue Jays and re-discover the form that made him an All-Star just two seasons ago. But given the fact that the Jays should get all three of their injured outfielders back within two weeks, can they afford to let Gomez try and figure it out? Are they any better off with someone like him, than a Cecilliani/ Junior Lake platoon?
Next: What has Jose Bautista done to his free agent value?
The above tweet also makes a valid point. Gomez is a very similar player to what the Jays already acquired in Upton, the only difference being that Upton was playing relatively well prior to joining the Blue Jays. Bringing in Gomez likely just adds a redundancy, and forces the club to make yet another 40-man roster move.
While it’s not impossible the Blue Jays will explore the outfield market in August, my guess is they won’t be terribly interested in Carlos Gomez. It’s always tempting to take a chance on a player with name recognition, especially one who is only 30 years of age, but it doesn’t always make sense. Timing is everything, and while Gomez should be a more than worthwhile risk for someone, it just doesn’t feel like that someone will be the Blue Jays.
Then again, I’ve been wrong before.