On Wednesday afternoon the Houston Astros made the somewhat surprising move of designating center fielder and former All-Star Carlos Gomez for assignment. For those that do not know, this means that the Astros have 10 days to either release Gomez or 7 days to place him on waivers to trade him. They can also outright him to the minors with his consent.
The Astros acquired both Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers in what appeared to be a blockbuster for Houston in 2015 when they traded outfield prospects Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, right-hander Adrian Houser and left-hander Josh Hader to the Brewers.
However, Gomez has struggled mightily in 2016 with a slash line of .210/.272/.322 in 85 games.
Most surprisingly, the free-swinging outfielder has only managed to hit 5 home runs and 29 RBI. He is also only 1 strikeout away from matching his 2015 total with exactly 100 strikeouts already this season.
He even had a moment with Yasiel Puig.
As a former MVP vote getter and at only 30-years-old, the question becomes whether he still has anything left in the tank or whether he simply had a hot couple years in Milwaukee? If you believe, like I do, that he still has plenty left in the tank and he is just having a down year, you have to wonder whether a team like the Dodgers would be interested in signing the right handed outfielder.
The Dodgers acquired right fielder Josh Reddick from the A’s just prior to the trade deadline, and as a result sent Yasiel Puig, a similar player in many respects, down to the minors. At first glance that seems to indicate that the Dodgers would not be interested in a player like Gomez. However, Gomez brings many things to the table that Puig simply does not.
First, Gomez brings 10 years of experience and nearly 3,800 at bats along with him. In those 10 years Gomez has hit over 100 home runs including as many 24 in 2013, when he finished 9th in the MVP race, and 23 in 2014.
Second, Gomez tends to be more durable than Puig, who has been rather injury prone in his young career. Gomez has played in as many as 153 games in a season and has played in 115 games or more in each of the last 4 seasons.
More importantly, it seems as if the Dodgers are simply ready to move on from Puig and on to anyone else who could potentially fill the left field void. Although Puig had done a pretty good job of staying out of the media for his off field antics this season, that all changed just a few days ago shortly after the Dodgers sent him down to the minors.
Instead of putting his head down and working hard to get himself back into the big leagues, Puig decided it would be a good idea to take his new teammates out to party hard while posting all of it on this not so safe for work video, which he posted on social media. The Dodgers have since responded by removing Puig’s merchandise and releasing a statement essentially condemning his actions.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 10, 2016
The Dodgers have also shown interest in players similar to Gomez in the sense that they have avoided signing or trading for big name players that will either cost the team loads of money or prospects.
Gomez would cost the Dodgers neither of those as he is currently owed only the balance of his $9 million salary for 2016. As a team that can afford to pay players like Carl Crawford $33.6 million to NOT play for them, the Dodgers may view Gomez and his contract as a worthwhile risk.
This is even more likely when you consider that the Dodgers recently tied the major league record for most players on the disabled list in a single season and it is only August. You can’t really blame them for stockpiling on players right now.
Carlos Gomez could end up being the difference maker on a team who is looking to make a late and somewhat improbable run at a 4th straight National League West title and their first World Series appearance in nearly 30 years.
If you ask me, the Dodgers would be foolish to not take the risk on the former All-Star outfielder.
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