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Report: Jonny Gomes gets $10 million from Red Sox

Nov 21, 2012, 8:36 PM EDT

Jonny Gomes AP

The Cody Ross era in Boston appears over. The Red Sox have agreed to terms with Jonny Gomes on a two-year deal that’s worth $10 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.

The $5 million annual salary is four times more than Gomes has ever earned before. He made $1 million while hitting .262/.377/.491 in his lone season with the A’s.

The Red Sox are paying a steep price for a guy who belongs on the bad side of a platoon. Gomes has  hit .284/.382/.512 against lefties and .223/.307/.425 against righties in his career. That line against righties isn’t so bad, but considering that Gomes is a subpar defender, he’s a poor option as a full-time player.

It’s hard to imagine the Red Sox now re-signing Ross. The two are essentially the same hitter; Ross has come in at .284/.353/.575 hitter against lefties and .253/.312/.415 against righties in his career. Ross is the clearly superior defender and thus is a better option as a starter against righties. However, he was believed to be asking for something in the neighborhood of $24 million for three years.

Gomes will join Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney, Ryan Kalish and Jerry Sands in the mix for corner outfield at-bats in Boston.  Ideally, Kalish, the biggest talent in the bunch, would step up and claim the right field job, at least against righties.

  1. bostonboy82 - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    My god….what a disaster Cherington is making of the Sox. It’s so embarrassing to be a sox fan. 10 million down the drain for another bum.

    • bigharold - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:19 AM

      I see that Ben is picking up RIGHT where Gorilla Boy left off.

      Considering that The Jays got much better I guess SOMEBODY needed to show their soft spot!

    • dcfan4life - Nov 22, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      A waste is an understatement. Gomes defense being subpar is an understatement. This is a mediocre player at best who had one solid season in Oakland and suddenly he is paid like a solid player. Elsbury and Pedroia make about $8 million each year. Does anyone think Gomes is 2/3s the player those 2 MVP caliber guys are, cuz he is being paid like he is…

    • nbasux - Nov 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      what’s embarrassing as a Sox fan is listening to whiners like you. I’m not crazy about the move by any means. but you tools who think they are supposed to have an All-Star at ever position, complain about every move, please feel free to go cheer for someone else. it’s sickening

  2. uyf1950 - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Looks to me to be another overpay for a platoon player. It looks like Cherington is 2 for 2 in FA signings so far. Overpaid for David Ross and now for Jonny Gomes. Neither of those guys are going to be regulars in the Sox line up in 2013. Sox fans say goodbye to Cody Ross.

  3. bobwsc - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Willie Mays Hayes and Clu Haywood could fill out the last outfield and first base spots. Lou Brown available to manage?

    • rollinghighwayblues - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      Come on, man. Lou has zero time to manage, he’s too busy with another guy on the line about some white walls.

    • crisisjunky - Nov 22, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      Sadly, he passed away.
      Buy a big bottle of rum and ask Jobu for lots of rain.

  4. chaseutley - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    $10 Mil for a career-.244-hitting DH? The respective front offices of the Red Sox and Marlins need to hang out and decide on a happy medium.

  5. dondada10 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    2 years, 10 mil is a lot for a 4th outfielder. Maybe they figured if it didn’t work out, they can just send him to the Dodgers.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:11 PM


    I can’t wait for Spring Training…..because it’s a lot shorter than this awful awful season is going to be.

  7. natslady - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Gomes was a fun guy to watch, apparently a “great clubhouse guy,” but he produced VERY little for the Nats. I don’t get this at all.

    • rmcd13 - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

      Did 2012 not happen?

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        No. Jonny Gomes playing for the Nats in 2012 did not happen.

        The guy has 3 seasons that were good ’05 (OPS+140), ’09 (OPS+ 128) and ’12 (OPS+ 140). In those seasons he played 101, 98 and 99 games respectively which is why only once in his career has he cracked 2 in WAR.

        He is a marginal player and he is continuing the transformation of the Red Sox into a marginal team.

  8. clydeserra - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    $5 million a year is maybe a little steep, but not overly so. Before you bemoan this deal realize that he had 333 plate appearances in 2012 and hit 18 HR. playing in a pitchers park. he wil get on base a lot and not totally kill you in left.

    Plus, if you believe in clubhouse people, he is your guy. Almost every Athletic on twitter after the season was over asked that he be re-signed.

    • APBA Guy - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Good call, Clyde. But I don’t think the RS fans are going to be dancing in the streets after this signing. They want “big” moves, not nibbles. They should probably start noticing that John Henry’s hedge fund has less than $ 100M under management now, which means less cash for the RS.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      On point Clyde. Great clubhouse presence. I know a lot of Reds fans who loved him in Cincinnati as well. Theres something to be said about a guy who is well liked everywhere he goes. Dudes a little eccentric but fun to watch. And again…its what he brings to the clubhouse. Hes not going to break the bank from a salary stanpoint either. Every team needs a Jonny Gomes. About the only thing I disagree with you about is his defense. He very much can kill you in LF. Hell…I would be hard pressed to name a worse OF’er (from a defensive standpont anyway)..

  9. uyf1950 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    I just don’t get the Red Sox/Cherington’s thinking here. They probably could have signed Scott Hairston for less money and probably no more years. Or for a bit more money and maybe an extra year tried to attract Ryan Ludwick who they won’t have to platoon and is a much, much better player than Gomes. At least that’s my opinion. It’s beginning to look like the Red Sox aren’t really interested in contending at least not in 2013. Looks like they are trying to get one of those protected draft choices again next year.

  10. kkolchak - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Dumbest $10 million, 2 year contract since the Nats gave one to Dmitri Young back in 2007.

    • Carl Hancock - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      Is it? Dmitri Young hit .320 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI’s with the Nats in 2007. He was hurt a lot in 2008 so that season wasn’t too good but had he been healthy and repeated his 2007 numbers it wouldn’t have been a bad deal at all. The Red Sox won’t see numbers like that from Gomes. Young had much better career numbers also. There have been far worse signing in MLB that the Dmitri Young deal the Nats made.

  11. dondada10 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Could the Sox possible be paying for the “club-house” guy to change their culture?

  12. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Has there ever been a more perfect match of player and team? Horrific facial hair, mild psychosis bubbling just below the surface.

    Honestly, with the Monstah to hit over and limit the zone he covers in LF, this should be a decent signing (albeit a bit of an overpay). The best case will be to let him hit 25 HR over the Monster in 2013, then trade him to some unsuspecting team who thinks they are getting a thumper (I’m looking at you, Mets).

  13. stairwayto7 - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    HE will be traded to a contender by mid season.

  14. prosourcetalk - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Holy fuck.

    • pisano - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      prosourcetalk…..That’s exactly what I was thinking.

  15. dcrudy - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Reminds me of the same kind of things said about the last time they signed a one-dimensional platoon type player … It was around 10 years ago, Some guy named David Ortiz ?

    • genericcommenter - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM

      David Ortiz made 1/4 the salary his first year in Boston. And he even made less than Gomes in 2004, after his first good year there.

  16. sawxalicious - Nov 22, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Here is an analysis from Bleacher Report ( not the most prestigious sports news, I know):

    Jonny Gomes was a perfect pickup for the Oakland A’s last offseason. They’ve always liked good on-base guys, and Gomes has always been the type to hide a high OBP behind an unspectacular batting average.

    He did it again for the A’s in 2012, hitting only .262 while posting an OBP of .377. He also slugged .491 and gave the A’s 18 home runs in only 99 games. Not a bad season at all.

    But it was better than these numbers suggest. As far as Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) is concerned, Gomes was one of baseball’s most productive hitters in 2012.

    For the record, wRC+ is indeed a variation of Bill James’ old Runs Created formula, which was designed to capture a player’s total offensive value in terms of runs. Weighted Runs Created Plus is a version of Runs Created based off wOBA, adjusted to account for league average. Similar to OPS+, it measures a player’s offensive quality in relation to his peers.

    Gomes finished the season with a wRC+ of 142 this season, which was good for a tie for 21st in baseball with Aramis Ramirez among players with at least 300 plate appearances. Below Gomes on the list are names like Josh Hamilton, Joe Mauer, Billy Butler and Yadier Molina.

    Hey, when you combine a high walk rate and a high on-base percentage with good power, this is what happens.

    Hopefully Gomes will work out for the Sox. At least it’s only 2 years….

  17. soxfan1966 - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    Why? Why? Why?

    I already hate Ben Cherington.

  18. theskinsman - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Wow, I wouldn’t have thought Boston signing a back up player to a contract would bring out the yankoff universe to show the depth of their understanding.
    It’s not like Gomes has brittle bones from decades of steroid abuse,and will suffer from fractures for no apparent reason.
    He also isn’t signed to be paid until he’s 72 years old like some yankoff players.
    Red Sox fans, if you’re going to want Cherington to sign every star FA to reload the Sox this offseason, you’ll be unhappy. Building a team starts and ends with quality pitching. Those are the signings or lack thereof that will make a difference.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM

      I always think it’s funny when a Red Sox fan does a take off on the Yankees name like you did.. BTW, when I say funny I don’t mean funny as in ha, ha, funny. I mean funny as in pathetically sad funny. Since anyone can do that with any teams names. For Example: Blow Sox or Red Sux. See how easy that was.
      As for your other comments, fans that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw around the “steroid” comment so easily. Need I remind you that Big Papi was chastised for “illegal supplement” and this year couldn’t make it around the based without coming up lame like an old war horse.
      And about the Red Sox reloading that implies that the Red Sox are in the thick of it (the pennant race that is) year in and year out only very occasionally missing out. That obviously does not apply to the Red Sox and their 69 win 2012 team for 2013. The Red Sox have missed 3 straight postseasons and 7 in the last 13 years. That doesn’t sound like a team that should be reloading, that’s a team that needs to rebuild which is a whole different animal.
      Over that last 15 months or so the Boston Red Sox and their Ownership have made a great case that they are on their way to becoming the next Houston Astros or Pittsburgh Pirates.
      This entire Red Sox retrospective could have easily been avoided, if you hadn’t tried to incorrectly build up the Red Sox at the expense of the Yankees.

  19. buddaley - Nov 22, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    If you are measuring his value in WAR, then according to the FanGraphs version he is a bargain. Over the past 4 years, his WARs have been 1.2, -.1, 1.5 & 2.1. At a standard of @$5 million per WAR, he is being underpaid. (The negative figure resulted from a huge deduction for horrible defense and probably from getting 571 ABs which exposed his weakness vs. righties.)

    BB-Ref is less kind to him, but puts his value at close to $5 million per year if you use their WAR calculation.

    It seems to me people should be focused on what he can do rather than what he can’t. He hits lefties very well and should thrive in Fenway. He is a decent base runner. He gets on base at a pretty good rate. As a 4th outfielder, occasional DH and pinch hitter, he can help a team win games. His signing does not preclude the Red Sox acquiring other players, and while it hardly is the final piece in fielding a contender, he is useful on a 25 man roster. As things stand, neither Cody Ross nor Ludwick are that final piece-or even that critical piece-either, so paying more for them would make little sense.

  20. johnnyb1976 - Nov 22, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Good for Jonny. He is a good guy, he was a real good clubhouse guy in cincinnati.

  21. skeleteeth - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Yay Jonny Gomes…

    • skeleteeth - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM


      • clydeserra - Nov 23, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        Dude, those two guys must hate each other

  22. richwizl - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Sheesch…. Must be a real lack out there.

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