Free-agent outfielder Jonny Gomes has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan, according to a report from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. The deal will pay Gomes $2 million in guaranteed money, and includes a mutual option for 2017.
Gomes, 35, hit free agency this winter after winning his second World Series championship in three years as a member of the Royals. He did not draw enough interest on the free-agent market to secure a major-league deal for next season, and will instead head overseas to join Masahiro Tanaka's former team.
Gomes told Rosenthal that he is not closing the door on a major-league return at this point, and that he is open to a career in baseball after retirement. Gomes is considered a fantastic clubhouse presence and a winner everywhere he goes, so it will be interesting to see how his qualities will translate into an environment with a language barrier and differnt culture.
Gomes has played for 13 years in the majors with the Rays (2003-08), Reds (2009-11), Nationals (2011), Athletics (2012, 2014), Red Sox (2013-14), Braves (2015) and Royals (2015). He is a lifetime .242/.333/.436 hitter with 162 home runs in that span.