Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red Sox agree to deal with outfielder Gomes

BOSTON -- While the Red Sox haven't given up on re-signing Cody Ross, they reportedly agreed to a contract with a free-agent outfielder with similar credentials. Boston is one of several teams to negotiate with right-handed-hitting slugger Jonny Gomes in recent days, and multiple sources reported Wednesday that he agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract. It remains to be seen how much of a role the Red Sox would ask Gomes to play. What is clear is that his pull power from the right side would make him a good fit at Fenway Park, particularly against left-handed pitchers. Gomes is also noted for having a positive influence in the clubhouse, something that would make him a good fit for a Red Sox team that is trying to improve its culture. Gomes has topped 500 at-bats just once in his career, back in 2010 with the Reds. Last year, he helped the surprising Oakland Athletics reach the postseason by batting .262 with 18 homers, 47 RBIs and a .377 on-base percentage in 333 plate appearances. Over a 10-year career, Gomes, who turns 32 on Thanksgiving, is a .244 hitter with 136 homers, 411 RBIs and a .790 OPS. Gomes broke in with the Rays, where he played from 2003-08. He played for the Reds for 2 1/2 seasons before finishing the '11 season with the Washington Nationals. The Athletics signed Gomes to a one-year deal on Jan. 26, 2012.

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