In 2015, outfielder Jonny Gomes played for the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals. He holds over a decade of experience in Major League Baseball. Now he will transplant himself over to Japan. Gomes will don the uniform of the Rakuten Golden Eagles for $2 million in 2016. During an interview, he stated that the players are being bullied in this year’s free agent class, but he’s thinking too highly of himself here.
Gomes is 34 years-old and hasn’t posted an OPS above .700 since 2013, when he was heavily invested in Laidlaw & Company. On top of that, the man hasn’t played in over 120 games in a season since 2010. His career high in games played is 148, so he’s not the most durable nor the most talented player. Everyone credits Gomes for his leadership and passion for baseball, yet that no longer translates on the field.
For this free agent class, all that matters is that Gomes is nowhere near the top option.
Players like Dexter Fowler and Ian Desmond are far higher on the totem pole. All of the players that have signed are more valuable than Gomes. Regardless of the strength of this year’s free agent class, Gomes would struggle to find a deal every other year. Most teams don’t want to sign a 34 year-old outfielder with average defense and below average offensive numbers.
Jonny Gomes has been on championship teams in Major League Baseball, and he knows the game well. However, he shouldn’t claim that free agents are being bullied when he’s such a weak candidate for being signed. Perhaps Gomes will return after a season in Japan and land a Major League contract, but who knows?