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Jonny Gomes wants to re-sign with Nationals because “this team is going to be friggin’ good”

Sep 26, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Jonny Gomes was traded to the Nationals in late July and probably hasn’t hit enough to make them want to re-sign him, but for his part the 30-year-old outfielder would love to be back in Washington next season.

And not just because of the money or the city, but because as Gomes told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post he thinks the Nationals are ready to make leap to contending:

I think this team is going to be friggin’ good. I don’t really think it’s going to be a sleeper, either. I think everyone knows, from guys I’ve talked to on the other teams that we’ve played, from what I’ve seen. I’ve seen a little taste of the farm system coming up. I definitely want to be a part of it, absolutely.

It’d be easy to make a joke about a 30-year-old mediocre outfielder talking about staying with a sub-.500 team because they’re ready to contend, but I actually agree with Gomes … sort of. I’m not sure that the Nationals will be quite ready to contend next season, but I’d bet on them finishing above .500 for the first time since they were the Expos in 2003 and by 2013 it wouldn’t surprise me if they made a legitimate playoff run.

Of course, how Gomes might fit into that mix remains unclear. He’s batted just .209 with 14 homers and a .714 OPS this season, which isn’t acceptable production from a poor defensive corner outfielder. As a Type B free agent Gomes would fetch a supplemental first-round draft pick for the Nationals if they offer him arbitration and he declines to sign elsewhere, except Gomes indicated to Kilgore that he’d likely accept the offer and essentially lock the team into a one-year deal for around $2 million.

  1. yardyoder - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Note: The Nationals could still finish above .500 for the first time in their history this season. If they win their next three games (against the Marlins) they finish at 81-80.

    • jackkoho - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      I thought the season was 162 games?

      • kopy - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        Nationals had a game against the Dodgers postponed earlier this month. I doubt MLB will have them make it up now.

    • southofheaven81 - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Still wish it had been the Pirates this year, but that’s still nice if they can do it.

    • clydeserra - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      Are we just totally white washing the Expos?

      • natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        The franchise is finishing its 7th season in Washington. The first season, it finished at .500. So a swep of the Fish would give the Nats their best record in Washington. If you want to go back, the Expos were 83-79 in 2002 and 2003.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      They won’t. There’s no makeup game on the Nats’ schedule, since it wouldn’t have any playoff implications.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Johnny should have just ambushed Mike Rizzo…

  3. kopy - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    I think it’s fairly apparent to everyone that the Nationals are going to be the true class of the NL East.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      I think they really benefit by having a good first baseman. A guy with a great OPS against lefties and righties. Maybe he won’t lead the league in RBIs, but first base is a place that they have an advance over every other team in the division ryan howard ryan howard.

  4. Jonny 5 - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    He’s right. Just this morning I called for the Nats to take the WC next season. Strausbionic version 2012 should be plenty nasty to help things along.

  5. shaggylocks - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Wasn’t there a player on the Rays who said they’d be going all the way in 2008? I can’t remember who it was–and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Gomes–but he was on that team, and he did see them go from worst to first that year. I think if any player can have the perspective on what pieces need to fall into place to go from being a doormat to being a contender, it’d be a player who saw it happen on his own team. I’m not going to write of Jonny’s prediction just yet.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 26, 2011 at 6:18 PM

      Kazmir did according to Keri’s book.

  6. randall351 - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Royals vs Nationals World Series 2013, you heard it here first.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:23 PM

      The Jays vrs the Expos in 2013.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        So you’re saying the Phillies will change their name to Expos in two years?!?!?!?!?

  7. natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Love the positive vibes for my Nats, but I agree with Aaron, 2013 is more likely. Continued progress to .500 and beyond next season will make me a happy camper. Playoffs next season would make me an ecstatic camper.

    $2 million for Gomes? Rizzo should be able to find a better righty bat off the bench for less.

  8. youalldrinkhaterade - Sep 26, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    I laughed my ass off when I saw the title of this article…after reading it…still laughing

  9. mgflolox - Sep 27, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    It’s ind of ironic, but I think the Nationals right now are right about where the Expos were in 1991. That team would have been a dynasty if they hadn’t been broken up after the 1994 strike.

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