The Tampa Bay Rays have found a quick answer in right field after the trade of Steven Souza Jr. last night. Veteran OF Carlos Gomez will join the Rays to add a right handed compliment to the team’s core of left handed outfielders.
Per Marc Topkin, Gomez will join the Rays on a $4 million guaranteed deal with $500,000 in incentives. The deal is pending a physical.
Gomez was once a dominant bat circa 2012-2014 with the Milwaukee Brewers, and has been worth more than two wins above replacement six of the last seven seasons.
Despite being right handed, Gomez has found success against right handed pitching last season. In 426 plate appearances (approximately 2⁄3 of a full season), Gomez remained a fairly above average performer, and overcame his infamous struggles of 2016:
When compared to a high variance bat like Steven Souza Jr. — who skyrocketed midseason before coming to earth on a near 4-win season — this is a neat approximate in right field the Rays need to bridge the gap to the likes of Jake Bauers.
Oh, and he comes with dingers.
The Rays have traded much of the homerun/strikeout hitters from the roster, but Gomez offers the team some balance in bringing that power back into the fold. As for the strikeotus, it’s worth noting he cut his K-rate to 24% in the second half last season.
Over the past three seasons, Gomez has averaged 452 PA, 14 HR, and 16 SB with a positive overall DEF score on Fangraphs throughout his career as a center fielder. The Rays are more than likely to ask him to play Right Field in 2018.