The A’s have made quite a few moves this offseason, with the trades of Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill making the big sporting headlines this winter. The additions of Bartolo Colon and outfielder Jonny Gomes, though, haven’t garnered much front-page attention.
Oakland’s acquisition of Colon, the former Cy Young winner from the Angels, makes sense, but only because the team’s starting rotation remains in a state of mystery.
The team has plenty of young starters to choose from to help fill out the rotation, but because this is 2012 and not 2015, the front office has no intention of rushing those young arms along this year. So, a guy like Colon, who pulled his own weight last year with the Yankees, makes sense for the penny-pinching Athletics.
Adding Gomes to the outfield mix makes plenty of sense, too. The team could use Gomes, who hit extremely well against lefties last year, can help Bob Melvin this year at either of the corner outfield spots or DH. Both Josh Reddick and recently acquired Seth Smith are both left-handed, so Gomes could platoon with either of them when the team faces left-handed pitching.
Gomes, 31, hit .311/.407/.456 with 3 home runs and 13 RBIs in 90 at-bats against left-handed pitching last year. He hit .167/.292/.362 with 11 HR and 30 RBIs against righties, though. At around $1 million, though, Gomes isn’t exactly a huge risk for the A’s this year.
Given the fact that this year is a wash, if Gomes doesn’t pan out, there’s no reason to panic. The A’s aren’t expected to finish anywhere near the top of the division, let alone near the .500 mark, so an unproductive Gomes shouldn’t be on your worry-list.
If he produces, great. If not, it’s only $1 million that Wolff and Co. could have kept in their pockets.