The Baltimore Orioles are looking to improve this off-season in a number of ways, but one of the obvious avenues is via free agency. The Birds are currenlty in talks with veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes.
Who is exactly is Jonny Gomes? Good question, Gomes has played the majority of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, making his major league debut with them in 2003, and continued with the Rays through the 2008 season. Gomes then went to Cincinnati for two years before they traded him to the Washington Nationals for the remainder of the 2011 season. Gomes was with Oakland this past season, where he played in 99 games hitting .262 with 18 homers and 47 RBI. Jonny is not the most sought after free agent out there, by any stretch of the imagination, in fact he is not even in my top 50, but he is the kind of player that Orioles Executive VP/GM Dan Duquette loves, cheap and possible high quality. For his career, Gomes is a .244 hitter with 136 homers, 411 RBI in 880 career games. Gomes does bring a little speed with him as well with 48 career steals, but strikes out a ton, he has 830 career strikeouts, that is almost one a game.
Talks have been stagnant as of late, as Baltimore wants to sign Gomes to a one year deal, but Gomes is looking for a multi-year contract, but the Orioles have not stopped contacting Gomes. Either way, I am here to tell you Gomes is not the answer in left field, and if the Orioles front office is trying to figure out whether to go with Gomes or Nate McLouth, I would take McLouth nine times out of ten as his defense is much better than Gomes, will likely hit for a higher average and OBP, and has better speed. Only time will tell, but this should tell Orioles fans to not expect a big name signing this off season.
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