According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes and the Cincinnati Reds are not close to any type of deal despite being linked together for most of the time since they non-tendered him in December.
The two sides were discussing a minor league deal last week, but nothing came of it and the Reds don’t appear to be close to signing Gomes to any deal at all right now. The Reds have said that if they can’t work out a deal with him they have no plans to sign another outfielder so this doesn’t even look like something that has to get done.
“Nothing recently,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Friday night. “We may re-evaluate where we’re at with our roster and with the number of people we have going [to Spring Training].”
“We’ll either do something with him or stay with what we have until we get to camp and see how it shakes out,” Jocketty said. “There’s no real deadline. We’re playing it by ear. I don’t think there’s pressure one way or the other to get it done.”
This could be great news for the Yankees who have been looking for a right handed outfield bat like Gomes’ to bring to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Gomes, along with both Rocco Baldelli and Marcus Thames, have been connected to the Bombers in that capacity for weeks. At first it seemed like Gomes would be returning to the Reds, but now it appears the Yankees may have a realistic shot at bringing him in.
Gomes hits lefties very well and has a career OPS+ of 112 against them throughout his career. That would make him an exceptional platoon option to use with Curtis Granderson who struggles against lefties.
You can read The Case for Jonny Gomes by our own Dan LaTorraca here, but if the Yankees could land him at this point Brian Cashman’s offseason will look golden in my book. A combination of Gomes/Granderson/Brett Gardner/Randy Winn would be a strong upgrade over Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera both offensively and defensively.