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View Full Version : Free Agent Stock Watch: Jonny Gomes



savafan
10-17-2010, 07:40 PM
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/10/free-agent-stock-watch-jonny-gomes.html

REDREAD
10-18-2010, 03:52 PM
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/10/free-agent-stock-watch-jonny-gomes.html

It will be interesting to see what the Reds do with Gomes.
I kind of doubt that the Reds will be able to release him, and then resign him, but I figured someone would've snatched him up last year as well.

I think that due to his buyout, his true cost would only be something like 1.3 or 1.4 million (Can't recall).. IMO, he's worth bringing back as a backup OF at that price.

Blitz Dorsey
10-20-2010, 11:15 PM
It will be interesting to see what the Reds do with Gomes.
I kind of doubt that the Reds will be able to release him, and then resign him, but I figured someone would've snatched him up last year as well.

I think that due to his buyout, his true cost would only be something like 1.3 or 1.4 million (Can't recall).. IMO, he's worth bringing back as a backup OF at that price.

No question they should bring him back as the No. 4 OF (presuming they can sign or trade for a legit starting LF). I think you are accurate with your recollection of his contract situation. He is owed around $2 mil next year with a buyout of $500K or so. At that price, they absolutely should bring him back as the top backup OF. He can give Jay Bruce a break in RF on occasion, the LF a break on occasion and can pinch hit. Need to bring him back IMO.

kaldaniels
10-21-2010, 12:20 AM
No question they should bring him back as the No. 4 OF (presuming they can sign or trade for a legit starting LF). I think you are accurate with your recollection of his contract situation. He is owed around $2 mil next year with a buyout of $500K or so. At that price, they absolutely should bring him back as the top backup OF. He can give Jay Bruce a break in RF on occasion, the LF a break on occasion and can pinch hit. Need to bring him back IMO.

That's solid Blitz. If used correctly Gomes is well worth the paycheck (and spot on the 25 man).

Sea Ray
10-26-2010, 09:59 AM
According to Cot's his buyout will be $200K this year

edabbs44
10-26-2010, 10:37 AM
It's likely he'll be back. Probably to start the offseason as a platoon/4th OF type, but it wouldn't shock me to see him go in as the starter if there aren't any LF upgrades to be had in Walt's budget.

Johnny Footstool
10-26-2010, 10:46 AM
It would be very stupid for the Reds to decline Gomes' option.

flyer85
10-26-2010, 11:00 AM
the key phrase


Gomes is a useful player if utilized correctly

edabbs44
10-26-2010, 11:19 AM
the key phrase

I think we can all agree that he is better used in certain situations. But the position has been somewhat distorted by some regarding last season.

I posted this in another thread, but many were given ample chance to take the position away from Gomes last season. Dickerson fell on his face. Nix was not good in the 1st half. Heisey did zero as a starter. Edmonds got hurt. Nix got hot, then got hurt.

I'd bet that if Nix and Edmonds didn't get hurt or if Heisey didn't collapse from August to the end of the season, Gomes' role would have been materially reduced. But the reality was that there really weren't many other options.

I think everyone (including Dusty and Jocketty) is aware that LF is a huge opportunity to upgrade. The question is how realistic is that opportunity.

RedsManRick
10-26-2010, 11:56 AM
It would be very stupid for the Reds to decline Gomes' option.

Because poor defensive LFs than can only hit LH pitching are hard to find?

Because he's guaranteed to sign elsewhere if the Reds don't more than double his salary coming off a down year? (even though he resigned in the spring last year for just $800k)

Because the Reds don't have other reasonable OF options in house if he does resign elsewhere?

I understand that there's an argument for bringing Gomes back in a certain role. But I simply don't understand the idea that letting him walk would be a big mistake, as if he were irreplaceable.

camisadelgolf
10-26-2010, 12:02 PM
Because OFs than can only hit LH pitcher and who play horrible poor defense are hard to find?

Because he's guaranteed to sign elsewhere if the Reds don't more than double his salary coming off a down year?

Because they don't have other reasonable OF options in house?

I understand that there's an argument for bringing Gomes back in a certain role. But I simply don't understand the idea that letting him walk would be a big mistake, as if he were irreplaceable.
Intangibles. If not for Gomes, no one on the team would care about baseball. Don't you pay attention to data?

Brutus
10-26-2010, 12:15 PM
Intangibles. If not for Gomes, no one on the team would care about baseball. Don't you pay attention to data?

Meh. That's a gross overstatement of the position of the re-sign Gomes camp.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm ready to sever ties with Gomes and go a different direction entirely. But I recognize some of the tangible and intangible reasons to retain him, and these statements probably don't advance the discussion much.

camisadelgolf
10-26-2010, 12:35 PM
Meh. That's a gross overstatement of the position of the re-sign Gomes camp.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm ready to sever ties with Gomes and go a different direction entirely. But I recognize some of the tangible and intangible reasons to retain him, and these statements probably don't advance the discussion much.
I agree. It was a horrible statement, but I just wanted to beat whoever was going to say it to the punch.

edabbs44
10-26-2010, 12:54 PM
Because poor defensive LFs than can only hit LH pitching are hard to find?

Because he's guaranteed to sign elsewhere if the Reds don't more than double his salary coming off a down year? (even though he resigned in the spring last year for just $800k)

Because the Reds don't have other reasonable OF options in house if he does resign elsewhere?

I understand that there's an argument for bringing Gomes back in a certain role. But I simply don't understand the idea that letting him walk would be a big mistake, as if he were irreplaceable.

If Gomes' option were to be declined, I wouldn't cry over it. I like him, but if they can upgrade the spot then that is great.

But I have two issues with your rationale above:


Because he's guaranteed to sign elsewhere if the Reds don't more than double his salary coming off a down year? (even though he resigned in the spring last year for just $800k)

I think we have seen solid evidence that Walt knows the market. We've seen him expose Dorn to the Rule 5 draft and watch him remain a Red. We've seen him non-tender Gomes last season and get him back at a reduced price. We've seen him cut Balentien last spring only to keep him after he went through waivers. I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt that, if he were to exercise Gomes' option, that means that there is likely a market for him.


Because the Reds don't have other reasonable OF options in house if he does resign elsewhere?

Do they? I've seen more than a few reasonable options go down in flames the past few years. Like if the Reds go into 2011 with Heisey as the primary LF and he pulls a Dickerson, what happens then? I would have hated to see Walt listen to what a few people wanted this offseason and went with Dickerson as his primary LFer.

camisadelgolf
10-26-2010, 01:30 PM
I think we have seen solid evidence that Walt knows the market. We've seen him expose Dorn to the Rule 5 draft and watch him remain a Red. We've seen him non-tender Gomes last season and get him back at a reduced price. We've seen him cut Balentien last spring only to keep him after he went through waivers. I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt that, if he were to exercise Gomes' option, that means that there is likely a market for him.
I know I'm nitpicking a little here, but let's not act like he's perfect when it comes to understanding the market.
He signed Willy Taveras to a Major League contract.
He extended Mike Lincoln at a price that was probably much higher than necessary.
Orlando Cabrera earned over $3M to put up (albeit arguably) the worst season of his career.
He decided not to sign Jim Edmonds to a minor league contract.

I really like what Jocketty has done, and he understands the market very well imo, but let's not get out of hand with how well he's doing in terms of understanding the market.

edabbs44
10-26-2010, 01:40 PM
I know I'm nitpicking a little here, but let's not act like he's perfect when it comes to understanding the market.
He signed Willy Taveras to a Major League contract.
He extended Mike Lincoln at a price that was probably much higher than necessary.
Orlando Cabrera earned over $3M to put up (albeit arguably) the worst season of his career.
He decided not to sign Jim Edmonds to a minor league contract.

I really like what Jocketty has done, and he understands the market very well imo, but let's not get out of hand with how well he's doing in terms of understanding the market.

Taveras, no excuses, no idea what happened. Didn't make sense.

I'm not sure that Lincoln's contract was all that bad. $4MM for two years coming off a semi-solid season. Injuries were obviously a problem.

Cabrera was a good signing.

Not sure what you mean on the Edmonds thing.

camisadelgolf
10-26-2010, 01:55 PM
Taveras, no excuses, no idea what happened. Didn't make sense.

I'm not sure that Lincoln's contract was all that bad. $4MM for two years coming off a semi-solid season. Injuries were obviously a problem.

Cabrera was a good signing.

Not sure what you mean on the Edmonds thing.
Lincoln's contract was bad in that he was paying Lincoln millions of dollars based on the success of a good couple of months in 2008. It's not like he had a track history of success, and he absolutely horrible after July.

As for Edmonds, Jocketty decided he wasn't worth the minor league contract and later said he regretted not signing him when he could've.

I'm not saying Cabrera was necessarily a bad signing, but to pay a guy over $3M to put an OPS+ of 78 along with mediocre defense doesn't seem like money well spent to me. I've seen it reported that Cabrera had the choice between making $3M+ to play shortstop with the Reds or a little less than that to play second base with the Rockies. He ultimately said that he had no interest in playing second base.

RedsManRick
10-26-2010, 01:55 PM
Fair points edbabbs.

The Jocketty/market point is a fair one.

However, I think my fundamental issue is revealed by your 2nd point. Heisey and Nix both have warts. I don't think either is a good solution for LF. However, there seems to be a sentiment that, in a vacuum, Gomes is likely to outperform them in given opportunity to do so -- or less likely to be unacceptably bad.

I disagree with this notion. Full stop. My belief is that of the three, Gomes will be the least productive player moving forward, particularly in a full-time capacity. Heisey and/or Nix putting up a .700 OPS provides equal or more value than Gomes does if at an .800 OPS. I think any projection system you look at would put both of those guys north of .700, likely closer to .750. And they will put Gomes no higher than .800.

I understand that neither Heisey nor Nix has had 500 PA in a season. But let's be honest -- until 2010, neither had Gomes. And as an extreme platoon hitter, when he was exposed, the impact on his offensive game was not pretty.

At the end of the day, a person's position here is based on their expectations for these players moving forward and there is a fundamental difference of opinion about what can be expected.

I don't think anybody is being illogical -- I just think we're using some vastly different assumptions, most notably around the scale and value of the defensive differences. I think it would be interesting to see people's personal projections for each player. (considering how Gomes was used in 2009, I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect him to be limited to a platoon role in 2010 -- but I'm willing to consider the possibility)

I'd go:
Gomes (full-time): .265/.330/.460, ~0.5 WAR
Gomes (platoon): .270/.340/.520, ~1.0 WAR
Heisey (full-time): .260/.330/.430, ~2.5 WAR
Nix (full-time): .250/.310/.440, ~2.0 WAR

If Gomes were to be brought back in a platoon role, I'd be fine with it. I just don't have any faith that he will be limited to that capacity. And that's why I'd prefer his extension not be picked up -- for the opportunity cost of giving him playing time when it could instead be given to a player with higher expectations.

And this isn't limited to the three guys listed, but to the possibility of bringing in a much more ideal option. I think resigning Gomes decreases the chances of that happening.

edabbs44
10-26-2010, 02:05 PM
Fair points edbabbs.

The Jocketty/market point is a fair one.

However, I think my fundamental issue is revealed by your 2nd point. Heisey and Nix both have warts. I don't think either is a good solution for LF. However, there seems to be a sentiment that, in a vacuum, Gomes is likely to outperform them in given opportunity to do so -- or less likely to be unacceptably bad.

I disagree with this notion. Full stop. My belief is that of the three, Gomes will be the least productive player moving forward, particularly in a full-time capacity. Heisey and/or Nix putting up a .700 OPS provides equal or more value than Gomes does if at an .800 OPS. I think any projection system you look at would put both of those guys north of .700, likely closer to .750. And they will put Gomes no higher than .800.

I understand that neither Heisey nor Nix has had 500 PA in a season. But let's be honest -- until 2010, neither had Gomes. And as an extreme platoon hitter, when he was exposed, the impact on his offensive game was not pretty.

At the end of the day, a person's position here is based on their expectations for these players moving forward and there is a fundamental difference of opinion about what can be expected.

I don't think anybody is being illogical -- I just think we're using some vastly different assumptions, most notably around the scale and value of the defensive differences. I think it would be interesting to see people's personal projections for each player. (considering how Gomes was used in 2009, I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect him to be limited to a platoon role in 2010 -- but I'm willing to consider the possibility)

I'd go:
Gomes (full-time): .265/.330/.460, ~0.5 WAR
Gomes (platoon): .270/.340/.520, ~1.0 WAR
Heisey (full-time): .260/.330/.430, ~2.5 WAR
Nix (full-time): .250/.310/.440, ~2.0 WAR

If Gomes were to be brought back in a platoon role, I'd be fine with it. I just don't have any faith that he will be limited to that capacity. And that's why I'd prefer his extension not be picked up -- for the opportunity cost of giving him playing time when it could instead be given to a player with higher expectations.

And this isn't limited to the three guys listed, but to the possibility of bringing in a much more ideal option. I think resigning Gomes decreases the chances of that happening.

2 things:

1) As we have discussed in the past, I'm not a huge buyer in defensive metrics. Where I think they can provide some value on their own, trying to use them in conjunction with offensive metrics, to me, makes the end results even more questionable.

2) Assuming that line from Heisey is a huge leap. Huge. That's basically what we saw from him on the whole this year, when an additional 300 PAs could have easily dropped him well below that line. The way he was trending, I don't think a .600-.650 OPS was out of the realm.

Johnny Footstool
10-26-2010, 02:30 PM
Because poor defensive LFs than can only hit LH pitching are hard to find?

Because he's guaranteed to sign elsewhere if the Reds don't more than double his salary coming off a down year? (even though he resigned in the spring last year for just $800k)

Because the Reds don't have other reasonable OF options in house if he does resign elsewhere?

I understand that there's an argument for bringing Gomes back in a certain role. But I simply don't understand the idea that letting him walk would be a big mistake, as if he were irreplaceable.

Because $1.75 million is a drop in the bucket for a proven masher of lefties. Why waste the time looking for a cheaper option when it will only save, what $1 million?

Pay Gomes his pittance, and platoon him with Heisey until Heisey proves he can handle the job.

RedsManRick
10-26-2010, 02:31 PM
2 things:

1) As we have discussed in the past, I'm not a huge buyer in defensive metrics. Where I think they can provide some value on their own, trying to use them in conjunction with offensive metrics, to me, makes the end results even more questionable.

I'm aware of this. If you add it all up, the WAR figures comes out very close to reality. So if we assume that the offensive run figures are solid, the fielding component can only be an issue of scale (both negative and positive). Even if we were to halve the UZR figures, Heisey & Nix come around more than 10 runs ahead of Gomes over the course of a full season.



2) Assuming that line from Heisey is a huge leap. Huge. That's basically what we saw from him on the whole this year, when an additional 300 PAs could have easily dropped him well below that line. The way he was trending, I don't think a .600-.650 OPS was out of the realm.

I don't think it's a huge leap in the least. Trying to extract meaningful trend data from 225 PA is basically a pointless exercise. All players have significant ups and downs in that few PA. Both his early surge and late swoon tell us about his ability and our best projection includes all the information. For a 26 year old player entering his prime, we cannot simply extrapolate from his last 100 PA. As we've seen with both Stubbs and Bruce, young players go through a number of ups and downs as they adjust to the league and vice versa. I'll be very curious to see what the various projection systems project, but I think your negativity simply isn't rooted in how players tend to develop and perform at this point in their careers.

Looking at Heisey's peripherals, we see little reason to believe they will be worse in 2011 than they were on balance in 2010. 2010 was his worst season to date and 226 PA is hardly enough time for him to adjust. Certainly time will tell, but I think the career paths of Chris Denorfia and Brady Clark are instructive. Both had big years out of the gate, struggled in relatively small sample sizes in the follow year, and then rebounded to expected career levels once given extended playing time elsewhere. Most players who flame out at the major league level do so because of a big flaw in their game which gets exposed and for which they cannot adjust. That does not describe Heisey.

Dickerson, to address the comp, had massive red flags in the form of a .410 and .360 BABIP in 2008 and 2009 respective. While his plate discipline figures regressed big time in 2010, he also had his batted ball luck run out. And even then, we're talking about 106 PA -- hardly a good sample from which we can make any firm conclusions about true talent.

edabbs44
10-26-2010, 02:41 PM
By the way, amazingly enough Dickerson's babip numbers were still strong in Cincy in 2010. .360 Babip and .495 OPS. Ouch.

You are correct on Heisey, using his 2010 as a baseline for anything can be dangerous. But adding his summer downward spiral plus his career AAA line of .269/.319/.457 makes me think that a major league .760 OPS, at this juncture, is aggressive for him.

Will M
10-26-2010, 04:55 PM
By the way, amazingly enough Dickerson's babip numbers were still strong in Cincy in 2010. .360 Babip and .495 OPS. Ouch.

You are correct on Heisey, using his 2010 as a baseline for anything can be dangerous. But adding his summer downward spiral plus his career AAA line of .269/.319/.457 makes me think that a major league .760 OPS, at this juncture, is aggressive for him.

Prospects that don't fit into your plans need to be moved BEFORE their flaws get exposed in the big leagues. Hindsight (Stubbs succeeding in the bigs) shows that the time to move Heisey was after his 2009 minor league season.
"young starting centerfielder" gets you more in return than 'backup outfielder' or 'platoon centerfielder'. I still like Heisey as a backup outfielder but I don't want to see him get 450 PAs in left.

edabbs44
10-26-2010, 04:57 PM
Prospects that don't fit into your plans need to be moved BEFORE their flaws get exposed in the big leagues. Hindsight (Stubbs succeeding in the bigs) shows that the time to move Heisey was after his 2009 minor league season.
"young starting centerfielder" gets you more in return than 'backup outfielder' or 'platoon centerfielder'. I still like Heisey as a backup outfielder but I don't want to see him get 450 PAs in left.

Not sure how much value Heisey had in the real world. He had 200 or so great PAs in AA and not a whole lot more to brag about.