The Rays have reached a one-year deal with outfielder Carlos Gomez, as first reported by MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. It’s reportedly worth $4 million, with an additional $500k available in incentives.
Tampa Bay had a need for outfield depth after designating Corey Dickerson for assignment and trading Steven Souza in recent days, so Gomez will join Kevin Kiermaier, Mallex Smith and Denard Span on the club’s depth chart. The 32-year old Gomez was also linked to the Rangers, Giants and Blue Jays this winter.
Gomez was a 1.8-WAR player for Texas last year, hitting .255/.340/.462 with 17 homers and 13 steals in 105 games while playing center-field. He’ll move to a corner spot with Kiermaier squarely set in center for the Tampa, providing a right-handed option.
Gomez has had a roller-coaster last couple of seasons, going from a coveted trade chip for the Brewers in 2015 to being released by the Astros in 2016 and becoming a bit of a reclamation project for Texas. While he hasn’t been the player who earned two consecutive All-Star appearances in 2013 and 2014 for Milwaukee, the Rays will hope he can return to that form and be an effective major-leaguer (and potentially, trade piece) for an organization in flux.
Gomez owns a career .256/.315/.419 line with 133 homers in 11 years with the Mets, Twins, Brewers, Astros and Rangers. He joins Span, C.J. Cron and Christian Arroyo as new additions to a Rays club that has lost Dickerson, Souza, Jake Odorizzi, Evan Longoria, Steve Cishek and Tommy Hunter this winter.