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Nationals acquire Jonny Gomes from Reds

Jul 26, 2011, 7:06 PM EDT

Jonny Gomes AP

That’s not where anyone expected him to go.

The Nationals announced Tuesday that they’ve acquired outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash from the Reds for outfielder Bill Rhinehart and left-hander Chris Manno.

Even though the Nationals are 49-52, leaving them nine games back of the Braves in the wild card and 15 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, they’re picking up an outfielder who is set to become a free agent at season’s end.  Gomes is a useful player with his ability to smack lefties around, and he’ll be a nice fit as a platoon partner for Laynce Nix in left field for the next couple of months.  Whether that really does the Nationals any good or not is debatable.

In return, the Reds get a 26-year-old Double-A outfielder and a 22-year-old low-A-ball reliever.  Both players have terrific numbers this year; Rhinehart is hitting .283/.376/.587 with 21 homers and 59 RBI in 276 at-bats for Double-A Harrisburg, while Manno has a 1.04 ERA and a 69/15 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings for low-A Hagerstown.  Still, neither is considered a very legitimate prospect.  Manno has the better chance of surfacing in the majors someday.

The bigger news for the Reds is that Gomes’ departure has resulted in Yonder Alonso’s arrival, as the former first-round pick was called up today.  Alonso, a natural first baseman, hit .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers while playing mostly left field for Triple-A Louisville.  A left-handed hitter, he’ll likely share time with the right-handed Chris Heisey in left field, leaving Fred Lewis to take a backseat.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Huh? Why?

    • natstowngreg - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM

      That was my first reaction. Also, my second reaction.

      For the short term, it makes a little sense, to get Matt Stairs off the bench. For the longer term, it makes zero sense. At least Rizzo gave up very little.

  2. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Makes no sense for Washington out of 10

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Bizarre indeed.

  4. bigharold - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    ‘… Nationals announced Tuesday that they’ve acquired outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash from the Reds for outfielder Bill Rhinehart and left-hander Chris Manno.”

    Bill and Chris must really suck if both f them were traded for Gomes AND cash.

    • spudchukar - Jul 26, 2011 at 8:16 PM

      Made me chuckle.

  5. hittfamily - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    This is the blockbuster deal that will make them contend with the Braves and Phils.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:23 PM

      At least Werth will have some competition for most bizarre looking Nationals outfielder.

  6. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    As a lukewarm Reds fan I’ll take my chances with the new platoon in left. Gomes was too little reward for too much drama.

  7. proudlycanadian - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Olney and Heyman sure missed this one.

    • hittfamily - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      I was thinking the same thing. Upton and Beltran updates 5 times a day, but everybody missed the only trade that actually took place.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:43 PM

        You know Heyman and his mystery trades.

  8. uuddlrlrbastart - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    This feels kind of like the Pirates trading for Matt Morris a few years ago. Though significantly less baffling.

  9. Reggie's Bush - Jul 26, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Huh…

  10. APBA Guy - Jul 26, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    My DC friends all have the same reaction:

    “What the…”

    Perhaps the Nats needed one more palooka in their brawls. If so, they just got the best in the biz.

    • hittfamily - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:11 AM

      No doubt about that. I remember him pounding Coco Crisp when Crisp charged the mound against the Rays.

  11. thehoagster07 - Jul 26, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    The deal makes some sense to me. It most importantly marks the end of Matt Stairs’ tenure in DC. I think Rizzo’s rationale is that once Gomes gets semi-regular PT (only 7 starts and 31 PA in July), he’ll start hitting and the Nats can flip him in August. If that plan fails, it’s not like they gave up any blue chippers for him (apologies to Manno, but there is no guarantee his funky delivery will get AA guys out let alone ML ones down the road).

    • metalhead65 - Jul 26, 2011 at 11:07 PM

      as a reds fan I can tell you why he saw so little action in July and that is he has sucked since last April/May. Dusty still gave him the majority of playing time over the more deserving Heisey but even he could not justify putting him and his .200 average out there everyday and he was useless as a pinch hitter. so good luck with getting him to hit no matter how many at bats he gets.

  12. foreverchipper10 - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Ah man, I have tickets to see the Reds AAA team next week. I was hoping to get a look over Yonder.

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