By Matt Johnson
on Wednesday, February 21st
A day after trading away its second staring corner outfielder, the Tampa Bay Rays found a replacement via free agency. On Wednesday, the Rays agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with outfielder Carlos Gomez. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com first reported word of the detail.
Gomez lands with Tampa Bay after the free agent market proved to be lacking in suitors for his services. In his age-31 season, Gomez hit 17 home runs, stole 13 bases and posted a .255/.340/.462 slash line, .343 wOBA and 110 wRC+ in 105 games.
The veteran outfielder's move from Globe Life Park in Arlington, which averaged 1.083 home runs per game, to Tropicana Field's less hitter-friendly environment won't do Gomez any favors for as a fly ball hitter, but the other A.L. East parks should prove to be more friendly.
If Gomez can stay healthy, which is a question mark given he has three consecutive seasons under 480 plate appearances, then he should be able to see 500-plus plate appearances as the starting left or right fielder for Tampa Bay.
The power production should remain steady for Gomez and if he can get on base 32-33 percent of the time, he can steal 15 bases in Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, because Tampa Bay's lineup lacks depth after the team traded away Corey Dickerson, Evan Longoria and Steven Souza, it will be difficult for Gomez to drive in or score runs.