back and forth flirtation between Jonny Gomes and the empty 4th outfielder roster spot. Those who know me (Brad) best, know I am also an ardent Rays fan (that's what born in Indiana, raised in Florida earns me) and have therefore more firsthand experience with ol' Gomes.
That being said, Gomes' numbers read like a Twilight novel: they are overly obvious and in need of little interpretation. For instance:
UZR/150 in OF = -22.3
2009 wOBA = .373
Career wOBA = .344
Avg 2010 Est. = .346
Over the course of his career, Gomes has hit lefties considerably better than righties, but still hits both well enough to be an excellent pinch hitter (for an NL team). His defense is borderline Adam Dunn-esque (hence the photo above). In other words, he should never have a glove in his hand.
Here is a brief, emoticon summary of Jonny Gomes batting:
2005 = :D
2006 = :(
2007 = :(
2008 = >:(
2009 = :)
In short, it's been inconsistent.
Gomes really belongs in the AL, where his malpractice-bad fielding can disappear in a DH role, but he's looking for somewhere to stop over for a year to pump his numbers so he can bank next year. What better place than a hitter-friendly NL park like Wrigley?
In the end, if the Cubs are looking for an extra bat -- just an extra bat, not a guy who can play the field with any modicum of success -- then Gomes can be their man. With the market down and his obvious desire to play for the north side, he could be a pretty cheap signing (he projects to be worth $2 to $3 million). If his bat is still on fire from last year (which it may well be), then he could easily slot into a starting-platoon (vs. lefties) role and add some nice value.